April PAD Challenge: Day 16

I don’t want to alarm you, but today’s challenge was a bit of a challenge for me this morning. Hopefully, you won’t struggle as much as I did. But even if you do, that’s why it’s called a challenge, I guess. Plus, we’re like only trying to get our rough drafts done in April anyway. Then, we can revise and/or toss stuff in May and beyond, right? Right.

Oh yeah, the prompt for the day. Well, it’s something I’m calling the “Alfred Hitchcock” poem, because I want you to write a poem that has a twist near the end. For instance, write a poem about talking to your best friend and then let us know at the end that your best friend is actually a sock puppet on your left hand–maybe even add to the intrigue by making your arch nemesis your right hand.

Of course, there are lots of ways to approach this one. What gave me trouble was figuring out how to do the twist at the end. Finally, what helped me was to think of how I wanted the poem to end and write to that ending–using an indirect route, of course.

(Note: I just began and ended that paragraph with “of course.”)

And with that, here’s my poem for the day:

“A call late at night”

Hey, baby. I’m guessing you’re asleep;
I hope that you are. I’m so thankful
for you and sorry I have to whisper.

You’re always so good to me, and I
wish you were here now. But if you
wake up and hear this message, please
don’t call me back, because I’m hiding:

I think someone is in my house.


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194 thoughts on “April PAD Challenge: Day 16

  1. Carol Bachofner

    Why sometimes these prompts don’t seem to "take" is a mystery. Maybe I ought to have written about THAT. Sigh. I’ll try again.

    Paradoxical Intention

    I thought I wouldn’t miss you,
    the way you caused me pain, left me
    drained time after time, arguing
    that you were in charge. You managed
    to stop me from enjoying even a day
    at the beach, a sunny Mother’s Day,
    a walk through the Ho Rain Forest.
    Because of you there was always drama
    looming, ready to appear without warning.
    You couldn’t stop yourself. I paid
    for your bad temper, your impulsive nature.
    But then I see a young woman
    with a big belly, and remember how we were
    in the old days, ripe with our girls.
    I put my hand over the place
    where they cut you out of me. To save me,
    yes. Then I long to feel movement,
    the wriggle of life inside, the babes
    you sheltered for me. I give thanks.

  2. S.E. Ingraham

    Dr. Healgood

    Mainly he listened but also, he’d discuss
    Options and treatments and, if I was well
    All manner of other, unrelated things;
    In fact, it seemed no subject was taboo
    Between us – he even shared things about himself
    An occurrence so rare as to be unheard of
    In the psychiatric field. I believe
    The way he treated me
    – more like a person than a patient –
    Is a major reason I enjoyed
    Long periods of sanity under his care
    I came to think of him as a trusted friend
    In addition to being my shrink;
    The first such medical professional in whom
    I had complete confidence
    In over four decades of mental health consumerism.
    Mental health consumerism
    – One of the many euphemisms
    used to describe things such as:
    – being bopped in and out of various Ha Ha Hilton wards
    -sampling myriad psychotropic drugs
    – trying and/or training countless witch doctors
    – ditto the assortment of therapies
    – ‘lectricity aka ECT aka electro shock therapy
    More than forty years of being in
    And out of the ‘bin, as I fondly refer to it
    And when not actually ‘in’ the bin
    Being forever an ‘out-patient’
    All of these up close and personal
    Dealings with the many facets of
    The Mental Health Care System
    Combine to lend me a unique
    Perspective from which to expound
    Confidently about my favourite
    Imagine a doctor so dedicated, that
    No matter where he was in the world,
    Every night he would check his
    E-mail in case, as he put it, I needed
    Him…and if, as it happened more often
    Than I care to remember, I did?
    Need him? He replied. Immediately.
    I have e-mails from Paris and Tokyo
    And Sydney and…well
    You get the idea
    For the first time ever
    I trusted a doctor so implicitly
    I gave my family access to him
    And him to my family,
    Without either of them having
    To consult me
    It is an unfortunate reality
    But many psychiatric patients allow
    Themselves to get beyond the pale
    Before they seek treatment
    And while their family members are
    Desperate to help them
    Their hands are usually tied
    I decided to unshackle
    Both my family and my doctor
    This was HUGE
    Something that rarely happens
    Without legal intervention
    But then, he inspired that kind of trust
    I remember talking to him
    About the hereafter;
    He an optimistic atheist,
    Was on the verge of giving
    Unitarianism (my faith) a shot
    He was one of the few people
    I’d met who didn’t look blank
    When I said I was a Unitarian;
    In fact, he went straight
    To a book in his office library,
    A book about Servetus,
    He loaned it to me on the spot
    I loved him for that
    Loved him for knowing
    About Michael Servetus
    And loved him more for
    Loaning me, a lowly patient,
    His gold-edged volume of essays
    Without giving it a second thought
    When I protested,
    He looked at me like I was crazy
    Well, maybe not crazy
    – but he said simply
    He knew I would take
    Good care of it
    Then, out one evening
    Quite by chance
    I l learned he was dead
    It was at a folk concert
    I wasn’t even
    Supposed to be attending;
    Someone had given me their ticket
    Because they couldn’t go
    So a last minute decision,
    A fill-in where I just happened to end up
    Seated next to a receptionist from the hospital
    And as fate would have it, at intermission,
    I was working on a puzzle that
    I’d last worked on at my doctor’s office –
    Some crazy Escheresque thing
    That was nigh on impossible
    I joked to the receptionist about
    How my doctor had saved me from
    Having to keep at it
    At my last appointment
    When he called me
    From the waiting room
    “Oh,” she asked. “Who is it you see?”
    I didn’t know she worked
    In the Psychiatric department.
    When I told her, I remember
    The expression on her face
    Didn’t change at all
    And the way she lobbed
    The information at me
    Carried so little inflection,
    I was sure I’d misheard her
    “Oh,” she said.
    “You know he’s dead, huh?”
    There must have been something
    In my face that alerted her;
    I started repeating his name
    And insisting she must have him
    Confused with someone else.
    First she looked deep into my eyes.
    Then there was a
    Subtle shift in her eyes
    Which I now know was pity
    There was so much noise in my head,
    I could barely make out the details
    As she told me where she worked
    And confirmed
    That we were indeed speaking
    Of the same person.
    I guess she helped me get up
    From the floor
    After I’d dropped
    To my knees,
    Offered to drive me home.
    I do remember feeling
    As if someone
    Had kicked me
    In the stomach. Hard.
    The timing of his death was
    Between my
    Regularly scheduled appointments,
    Once a month, just then
    I struggled futilely to
    Remember our last appointment
    Had he seemed
    Ill, run-down, over-tired…?
    Dead – the information
    Seemed so surreal;
    It was almost beyond my ken
    He was exactly the
    Same age as me
    – not really young
    But not even middle-aged –
    At least by today’s standards
    I know I drove myself
    Home but don’t
    Remember doing it
    Or much else
    Between then and
    Several days later
    When I attended his funeral
    Talk about feeling
    Utterly bereft
    The huge church was
    Packed to the rafters
    As they say;
    They had to put extra chairs
    In the foyer
    Or whatever they call
    That part of the church
    Where people hang
    Their coats
    Of course it
    Was very sad,
    But at first I thought
    Maybe it would be bearable;
    The church was very liberal
    Anyone can be married
    Or buried from there,
    Much like my own
    But – and I’m not sure
    When this realization
    First happened
    Sometime during the service
    Things started to go very wrong –
    At least for me
    First, I’ve never been at a service
    Where there was so much
    Open sobbing
    Stoic doctors and nurses alike
    Were weeping,
    The tears pouring unchecked
    Down their faces
    (I admittedly was of their number
    But being a psychiatric patient
    That didn’t strike me as particularly odd,
    Especially as a number of things
    Started to click into place.)
    Second, the service was
    Extremely religious,
    With lots of talk of
    His soul rising up
    To be with the Lord
    And the like;
    I wondered if any of
    The people who’d
    Arranged the thing
    Had even known him
    I found myself hoping my
    Thoughts couldn’t be heard
    Because inside I was
    Screaming loudly,
    “C’mon people –
    He was an atheist!”
    So – there was that –
    The excessive religiosity
    And the extravagant
    Expressions of grief,
    Especially by the medical community
    In general
    Something seemed off
    And at first;
    I just couldn’t put
    My finger on it
    Then, one of his best friends,
    Another doctor,
    Prominent in the community –
    Although why that should matter
    I’ve no idea
    But I overhead it mentioned
    More than once –
    Began his eulogy
    Well, well, well –
    First bereft, then betrayed
    The eulogizer wasn’t more
    Than a sentence
    Into his beautifully written
    Wonderfully spoken piece
    When it became all too clear
    To me
    My dearest doctor,
    The man I trusted
    More than almost
    Anyone else in the
    World practically
    Beyond all
    Imaginings really
    This wonderful, intelligent,
    Compassionate doctor
    Hadn’t just died,
    Wasn’t just dead
    As if that weren’t
    Heart-breaking enough
    No – it became
    Quickly apparent
    That the good doctor had
    Taken his own life
    Killed himself,
    Committed suicide,
    Shuffled off this
    Mortal coil on purpose
    How could this be?
    “…unable in his own pain,
    could not reach out…”
    This man, who
    Countless times had
    Talked me out of
    Taking my own life,
    Had made me see I
    Had any number
    Of reasons to live
    Had kept me
    Hanging on
    If only by the
    Slimmest of threads
    Then, with reasons
    Only he could know,
    Cut his own
    Tenuous thread
    No, no and
    No again
    This did
    Not compute
    That this man
    Who had managed
    To persuade
    So many
    That life
    Is worth living
    In the final analysis
    Could not
    Persuade himself.


  3. Laurie Kolp

    Who Done It?

    "I will find the killer,"
    the detective did say.
    Then he went out
    in search of clues,
    fingerprints and DNA.
    He asked questions
    to all the people
    that were there that horrible day.
    Hours and hours,
    days and days,
    then weeks and months
    did go by.
    Not a lead did he get,
    so his boss made him quit,
    and took over the case,
    retracing each step,
    calling on witnesses.
    Soon he did find
    the murderer to be
    that detective, himself-
    how he lost his mind!

  4. LindaTK

    Day 16
    Twist at End

    A new day dawns
    Sweet scent of lilacs
    Sunshine filtering
    through newly formed leaves
    Birds singing morning songs
    I stretch, yawn
    Greet the day
    Step outside to inhale
    the clean air
    My husband left me
    for another man

  5. Karen Masteller

    Something was amiss…
    My heart raced to bursting…
    My head whirled…
    Fear crow-hopped through my brain…
    My palms dampened…my knuckles whitened…

    That shot of dental Novocain laced with epinephrine…
    Never again!

  6. Sue Bench

    Cindy’s Neighbor

    Cindy’s in her backyard,
    looking at the spring flowers poking up.
    The neighbor is out too.
    Funny, she’s lived there for 6 years,
    and never spoken to Cindy once.
    Yet it looks like she’s walking this way!

    “Hi! I’m Linda,
    I’m soooo sorry that we’ve never met before.
    What’s your name?
    I’m really sorry,
    I’m just always so busy.
    I should have come over before.”

    Cindy tells her name,
    Says “nice to meet you.”
    They both turn to walk to their houses.
    Suddenly Linda calls back,
    “Oh, Cindy,
    Just one little thing.
    A big limb from your tree
    has fallen onto my yard.
    You need to give me $50
    So that I can have it chopped up
    And hauled away.
    So sorry that we had to meet
    Under such bad circumstances.”

    Cindy’s speechless!

  7. Linda Hofke

    To Tonja Root:

    Often I post and never have time to go back into a day to read more. I just read your response to post. Thanks so much for the encouragement. I am just starting out….began writing on April 1. I hope, with practice, I can develop as a writer, whether it be as a job or just for me. IT feels good to write.

    By the way, I like your stuff. Congrats on Bouncy Ball being a highlight and Short was fantastic. Says much with a few words. Belief and Truth is also outstanding. Have you been writing long?

  8. Judy Roney

    The stewardess was blonde, blue-eyed,
    buxomy and gorgeous,everything
    that would make the men on the flight sit up
    and pay attention. Some obviously stared
    others more subtle,like my husband, who
    caught glimpses as she passed by.
    I leaned over and offered to introduce him
    to her. My husband turned red and stuttered
    I told him that I knew Jeannette from
    grammar school. We were best friends
    in 3rd and 4th grade when her name was John.

  9. Justin M. Howe

    Love Poem, or, Anxious Dreams

    “I love you.” she whispers
    “I love you more.” I whisper back
    “Yeah, you’re right.” she smiles
    It’s dark, but the smile is in her voice
    her smell
    “Why do you stay?”
    “I don’t know.”
    “When will you go?”
    “Probably soon.”

    I lay awake
    I hear her smile
    I see her

    Her mangled body lying in a ditch
    She’s with a much better looking man
    The windshield shattered with the impact
    He pleases her

    Baby, I wish you’d come home soon.

    -Justin M. Howe

  10. priya


    that last one i sent was meant for the insult poem (day 15) i accidentally put it here.

    Here’s the poem for this prompt:

    The end of the world is here
    There will never be any
    More Happiness – only Fear
    And Responsibility.
    All the fun of childhood
    Will forever disappear…
    I’m turning ten this year.

  11. priya

    There is nothing that
    smells quite as sweet,
    as the smell of your
    rotten stinking feet.
    It made me gasp and
    gawk and groap,
    for the air
    that is not there,
    must be somewhere
    who knows where

  12. Kate

    Things that Make Me Panic.

    Yogurt containers with foil lids. Side effects of prescription drugs. People that drive too fast, weaving in and out of traffic on the freeway like they’re in a video game. Driving on icy roads. Driving in blizzards. Sleeping in tents on mountains during electrical storms. Glass elevators in tall buildings. Elevators that go to floors not requested or that stop between floors. Airports. Airplanes. Airplanes on the ground. The noise of airplanes overhead. Flying in airplanes. Thinking of flying in airplanes. Dreaming of airplanes. Watching movies about airplanes. Eleven barking pit bulls in the beat-up station wagon parked next to me at the mall. The fear that you will become bored and leave me for someone else.

  13. Raven


    locked inside this oubliette
    filled with martyrs and daemons and pain
    choking on the bilious rush
    chained in locked down this stain
    bruised fragile
    picking up
    odds sounds from up above
    clenching wrenching
    twisting up
    bitterly contained
    a mesmorising violence
    the struggle to break free
    the soul bursts forth
    a pop a groan
    clawing up and out and through
    a newly sprouted see
    reaches up
    towards the sky

    TK Kietero

  14. samantha altman


    I despise the way you look at me,
    I hate it when you stare,
    I can’t stand the way you talk to me,
    You’re a breath of toxic air.

    Why are you so ignorant,
    Why are you so mean,
    If you were a bar of soap,
    I would never want to be clean.

    You piss me off,
    You make me tense,
    I can’t understand
    Why you’re so dense.

    I hate you, can’t stand you,
    I shatter when I’m around you.
    But the thing that makes it terrible
    Is that I really do love you.

  15. Rebecca

    Kyle read his message out loud to us
    "Totally forgot! Stink."
    Of course he feels bad
    Thursday night belongs to us.
    "Herb usually calls. Lol."
    Probably has a lot on his mind.
    "Anyway, i am super tired."
    I can see it… house music blaring…
    DJing keeps him up so late.

    "I went out with my mom last night."

  16. Sarah

    Upwards she scales the wall
    to find a place
    to lie in wait
    for her next
    unsuspecting victim
    who’ll feed her thirst for blood
    then suddenly, without warning,
    one falls into her snare
    working quickly she snatches it
    wrapping it tightly
    before enjoying her feast.
    One less fly to bug me today
    so I guess I’ll let her stay
    for at least another day.

  17. Lin Neiswender

    Appearances are Dddeceiving

    Cccool baby, groovy, hip
    The cccold made him stutter
    His bbberet slid on Donald Trump hair
    Nnnot staying in place too well
    Wwwhy you might ask does he babble on
    In ttthat bizarre, old-fashioned way
    He’s tttruly triple-play crazied
    In his lllost in the sixties way
    You’d nnnever guess he has millions
    Sssocked away

  18. Bonnie


    The willows sway softly in the breeze,
    The flowers turn their faces up toward the sun
    Drinking in the morning rays.
    Butterflies flit from blossom to blossom
    Collecting the sweet nectar inside
    The sound of the gardener’s tools
    Beating out a rhythm all their own,
    Add to the peaceful sound of the garden.
    Minute after minute, and hour upon hour,
    The gardener continues in silence.
    For the work must be finished;
    Tomorrow’s ceremony depends on its completion.
    The arrival of such an important man
    Requires much care. . .or so they say.
    To the gardener everyone is the same
    Doctor, lawyer, priest, or pauper
    It doesn’t matter.
    He always gives them his best.
    So he continues; never pausing to rest.
    The guest of honor will arrive at 1 pm,
    And as always everything will be done to perfection.
    As he works he has a smile of satisfaction,
    Without him the ceremony would not be possible.
    And yet none of the group tomorrow even knows his name.
    But that’s okay
    For one day he may offer his services to some of them as well.
    At last he is finished.
    Stepping back he admires his work.
    Corners perfectly square.
    Exactly six feet deep.
    The grave digger picks up his tools, satisfied.
    All is ready for the guest of honor.

  19. jane


    Power suit pressed
    She steps into the limo
    Another day
    Of decisions

    Multi-million dollar company
    Thousands of lives
    Depend on
    Her decisions

    Phone calls
    All demand

    In her office
    At the end of the day
    Bottom left drawer

    Holds the answers
    She pulls out the Magic 8 Ball
    Shakes it and then again
    To make her decisions

    “My sources say yes”

    * * * * * *

  20. Lydia

    Twist poem

    The hamster died,
    so off to the petstore they went,
    to get a new pet,
    a new family friend.
    Mom said get something small,
    something that wont bite,
    a friendly animal
    for all of us to enjoy.
    They were kind to call Mom
    from the petstore to approve their choice.
    No hamster, gerbil, rabbit family are we,
    they said, Mom, can we buy a rat,
    its a sociable pet to complete our family.
    Now, Mom who used to fear spiders and mice,
    has a rat in her home,
    a pet to her children that is quite friendly,
    but the sight of his tail always reminds her,
    she is doing this for the children,
    it is a love greater than for the rat,
    who appreciates the loving home that
    hes found himself in.
    But why does the Mom always ask her son
    to put me down and back in my cage.
    I will make her love me
    the rat thinks, as he ponders escape.

  21. AlaskanRC

    Not my best attempt.

    A Different Type of Friend

    I got a friend,
    that always makes me feel better
    when I’m down.
    He never makes fun of me
    over the problems I share.
    I can cry on his shoulder
    with out him ever saying
    a word to another soul.
    His eyes silently tell me that
    he’ll always be there.
    He can’t speak in words
    for he a horse but between
    us words aren’t needed.

  22. M Schied

    Wrong way

    I stride breathlessly through the transparent entrance
    Straight to the granite barrier
    that will provide my ticket to paradise
    A paycheck later, my feet tripping up the escalator
    I run the gauntlet of beeping wands and luggage x-rays,
    until my final destination looms in front
    ghostly on the pitch black tarmac
    Won’t your eyes light up when I arrive
    a premature birthday surprise
    I calm my jittery nerves with peanuts and champagne
    right before the cell phone light goes off,
    I place the grey box by my ear
    to hear you say,
    "Honey, I’m home"

  23. Darla Smith

    My Friend

    Let me tell you about my friend,
    who is kind, loving and loyal.
    The moment he came into my life,
    my future started looking brighter.
    His eyes are a piercing green,
    his silky hair is raven black.
    He shares my bed every night,
    nestled close against my side.
    I’ve given control of my heart,
    to my beautiful cat Blackie.

  24. Phyllis Elswick

    I sat down on the bench
    Breathing a sigh of relief
    Tired from all the hustle and bustle
    Thinking it is finally over
    Thinking what have I done
    Where am I going
    What am I doing
    Mommie, let’s go again,
    The little voice giggled
    This is so much fun

  25. Charlene P. Age 10

    You never shut up
    You never stop eating junk-food
    You never ever listen to me
    You never pay attention to others

    You always chatter a lot
    You always ignore "rabbit food"
    You always go "La la la!"
    You always ignore others

    You need adult supervision,

  26. lyn

    His legs carry him forward, self-assured bow-legged strut
    Seeking the path to paradise
    His icy sliver eyes gaze deep into the soul
    Thirsty for salvation
    His smile quirks upward on the left
    Eager for the trip to heaven
    His body hard sinew tight, flushed with heat, dewed with restraint
    Hungry for a swim in milk and honey
    He stood at the altar of commitment
    A willing sacrifice to ecstasy
    And I wish he’d fallen in love with me

  27. Janice Neaveill

    Good Sense

    My grandpa finds water lines
    by walking over the ground, eyes closed
    dropping a stone wherever he feels the pulse
    of it. He digs a ditch. My grandpa can witch
    water, an ancient seduction reduced
    by pipes, he finds those pipes beating
    in the earth, tons carried at top speed and once

    he found the only artesian
    spring in the whole state, so they built
    a church on it. He doesn’t believe
    in "Jesus Christ Church of the Artesian Spring"
    about what the creator means, or that humans
    could know a God exists
    unseen in heaven. If heaven
    was underground I know
    he could dig ditch
    to where he sensed
    God’s beating heart.

  28. Amanda Caldwell


    A night dark as tar and a road curving between the trees,
    almost too dim to make out the lines in the headlights.
    A girl appears, walking along the side, hand outstretched
    in silent supplication. A halo picks out her hair
    in the beams, making her glow almost translucent.
    A stop, near involuntary, your car, your heart.
    Doesn’t she know you could have killed her,
    standing out in the woods on a night like this,
    dressed all in black but for one white scarf
    wound tightly around her neck? A tiny *chunk*
    in the stillness is the door opening,
    a slither of cloth on leather, and she is beside you,
    beckoning you on with a sad smile,
    and the door closes almost soundlessly.
    You follow the directions of her whispered voice
    and pale pointing hand to a small house
    in the middle of middle class, a neat house, a tidy house,
    where a mother and father could raise two kids
    and a dog, where everything could be normal,
    everything happy. She slips out as quietly
    as she slipped in, but her scarf — her white scarf
    snags, on seemingly nothing, and trails, slips, uncoils,
    drifts down to the seat beside you. You call,
    but she’s gone, into the darkness of the lane.
    You bolt from the car, pulling the scarf after you,
    a wisp in your hands, the fabric sheer and untactile,
    and run up the path to the front door, your steps
    too loud on the gravel, your eyes darting behind you
    to make sure no one is following in the cover of the sound.
    You knock, nervously out of rhythm, and creak
    go hinges as the door cracks open. A face peers out,
    a man in middle age and nighttime clothes,
    quizzical and disturbed. “Yes?” he asks, and you hold up
    your offering: the scarf, the long white scarf.
    “I had a girl in my car,” you stammer, and he whips out
    a hand. “Oh, there it is,” he says. “My daughter said
    she left it on your seat. Thanks for giving her a lift.”

  29. Jolanta Laurinaitis

    I take a deep breath
    And with one last hurrah
    I hit the last note
    Giving it my all
    Giving my heart and soul
    Into the ending
    Errupting into silence
    I open my eyes
    The record store customers
    Snigger behind their hands
    I remove the headphones
    And proceed to the checkout.

  30. Rosemary Nissen-Wade

    New Departure of the Prodigal

    Gone again! Another five years
    or more, before the next time.
    Or maybe there won’t be a next time.
    He goes, I stay; who knows?

    He has taken his big body
    made fat by booze and chocolate
    and sedentary living,
    eagerly off after one last hug.

    He has taken his white laptop
    and the slim black mobile phone.
    No more calls to America at 2am.
    and we get back our dining table.

    He has taken both old sleeping-bags,
    patched and heavy and way old-fashioned,
    30-year relics of him and his brother as kids.
    I didn’t say no, but I wish he’d left me one.

    He fixed the things around the house
    that weren’t working: electrical items,
    carpentry jobs, the way we do the budget,
    the irritating noise from the back of the fridge.

    And he pointed out the lies
    with which I’ve surrounded myself
    and those that I’ve been telling.
    He left me with many questions
    to ask myself, and a new desire to ask.

    I’m weepy. My head spins and jangles
    after the car drives off with a cheery toot.
    ‘Where’s the smudge stick?’ his stepfather says,
    ‘Let’s get all that crap out of the house!’

    © Rosemary Nissen-Wade 2008

  31. Mike Barzacchini

    It’s not brain surgery

    I can’t believe
    They don’t
    Put me under.
    All that cutting
    And slicing.
    So close to
    My brain.
    I saw the
    But I’m not
    Just another
    Butcher with
    A sharp
    I hate haircuts!

  32. Sara Diane Doyle

    Trying to catch up, this one was hard only in that I wanted to find a twist that was unique (because I have this complex about doing things differently!) Hope you like it…

    Ice Chest

    In the seat beside me
    sits a little red and white cooler—
    packed with ice. I hope it is enough
    for our long journey.
    At the end of the day
    I only wish for a smile
    or at least
    that the heart the cooler carries
    will take to its new home.

  33. Hope Greene

    The Incorruptible Ms. Staquen

    That’s a perfect crease in your bleached linen pants
    not a speck of grease has touched your hands
    even though it’s finger food on offer
    without plates. What blank face have you bought
    today off which eminently reassuring peddler
    of perfection? I merely ask, with respect, since
    Sometimes it’s the thing you least expect
    when you live your life (while it lasts)
    in stunning black and white. And that’s
    the shame of the garden tonight, the white gloved right-hand
    band attempting to play a zydeco
    five fingers short. Needs a left, don’t it?
    But what would be the gain to point it
    Out to you that a lovely shade of gray is coming up to bite you in the ass?
    Oh, wait…it IS an ass (donkey, that is) and
    He’s crashed this party not to bite, but, it would seem,
    To take a whizz.

  34. Gene McParland from Long Island

    Here’s my poem with a twist at the end:

    The Monument in the Garden

    An ancient Dragon gate, tempered green by age,
    half opens upon flowered gardens of past delights.
    Long neglected by the gardener’s hands,
    it now blossoms forth with a symmetry
    of its own design.

    A amorphous flowing of living colors
    covers once clearly defined borders,
    and then cascading over the sides
    of a stagnate green garden pool.

    Marble, stone, and metal sculptures now serve
    as homes for calling birds and much simpler life;
    vines caress the once smooth features.

    Morning light meanders across garden beds,
    creating streamlets of flowing light.
    Where formal pathways once were laid out,
    naturalness and spirit now have free reign.
    The gods of War have finished their games.
    Now Nature re-claims the crumbling remains.

    One sole spot remains strangely unchanged.
    There a monument stands
    Etched on its front
    a silent warning
    which none can now read:

    “Beware Man”

    -Gene McParland-
    North Babylon, NY

  35. Gratia Karmes

    A poem for the "Alfred Hitchcock" Theme:

    Everything scares me–
    I can’t even have a Stepehen King novel
    left on the back of the toilet.
    I might read it!
    I might live it!

    I attempted to buy a scary book
    about space aliens (the real ones)
    and double bagged it, before I threw it, unread
    deep into a dumpster.

    Even Ghostbusters is
    kind of a frightening movie, to me.

    I read an article about arms coming out of walls-
    apparently this psychic woman knew she was psychic when she
    began to see them.
    Now I am a bit nervous around walls. Great.

    Once I knew a woman
    whose husband put a nylon stocking over his head
    and barged into the shower, terrifying her.
    She divorced him, of course.

    Well, dang, wouldn’t you know it?
    I’ve gone a written a poem about "rambling",
    which was yesterday’s topic.

    I was afraid of that.

  36. Susan Bell

    (The poem I posted for this originally was a reworking of an old one. A friend said I needed to make a note of that, or she would. Instead, I am posting a new one. So there, smart alec.)

    The Stalker

    Just because I follow you everywhere,
    you get upset and yell. Why do you yell?
    You know you love the attention, as I watch
    every move you make. I’ll show you who’s
    boss around here. Before long, you will
    be on your knees, begging for my

    You will crave my attention, long for it.
    I know you better than you know yourself,
    better than anyone else knows you. I miss
    nothing. I see everything. And when you
    least expect it, I will pounce

    and lay down on your lap, kneading my
    way to purr bliss.

  37. Kimberlee Thompso


    Oh, once I had womanish dreams
    of flowers and chocolates.
    Gone, turned to ashes.
    Perhaps I was a foolish romantic,
    living in grandiose fantasies,
    but I did it all for you.
    To keep you safe.
    Some say I gambled
    far too much,
    some say not enough.
    The earth, the air –
    I tried to rule them all
    to make this, our new world.
    Ah, perhaps I did fail,
    but I dared.
    Mayhap you will forget me,
    Mayhap you shall laugh;
    Now I can do little but to ask –
    call me “Donald,” not “Rummy.”

  38. Sheryl Kay Oder

    Originally I posted this on the wrong day, so I am posting it again so it will be in the right context.


    She joined me for overnights
    in the little backyard house
    my daddy fixed up for me.

    We listened to music together
    as I whispered momentous
    secrets in her ear.

    I would poke her awake
    thinking I heard a prowler
    In the night.

    She protested not at all–
    not one growl.
    not one bark.

  39. Sarah


    Bruce was my first crush,
    back when I had a thing
    for radioactive blue-eyed men
    with tortured souls.
    I ached for him as he wandered, rootless,
    hitch-hiking–something I thought
    only naughty people did.
    I was five–a bit too young
    to stand back and admire
    the pathos of a life on the run.
    Oh, Bruce, I loved him so.
    But when he was angry,
    he became a different person.
    They called him The Incredible Hulk.

  40. Dee IKJ

    My brother Gary had two horses
    I had none of my own.

    I loved his horses and to them I would talk
    I had none of my own.

    One day I found this beautiful white horse
    He was mine all mine.

    Mane and tail flying in the wind he would run
    He was mine all mine.

    Tall and strong and the most beautiful
    He was mine all mine.

    On his back I would climb and off we would go
    He was mine all mine.

    As we rode with the wind, a change came about
    He was mine all mine.

    Then my beautiful white horse was no more
    I had none of my own.

    He turned into a pogo stick horse and
    I had none of my own.

    True story I use to have this dream repeatedly for many years as a child and even into my adult hood.

  41. Jennifer Fagala

    In honor of "Lamb to the Slaughter" – Robert Dahl

    She sewed
    He read
    She served
    He drank
    She cleaned
    He watched TV

    this is how it was
    with no thank you
    or if you please

    So one day nice and dreary
    He slept peacefully weary
    She snuck up behind
    found strength on a dime
    and felled him with a

    a lamb chop
    which she promptly fed to police

  42. Tonya Root

    Yoli – Thanks! Good to make someone laugh!

    Karen – I really connected with your poem. My mom has always been my best editor!

    Devon – Excellent. What a fantastic way to bring home your point.

  43. Shana

    My twist
    ain’t got no wist
    it’s just a t

    And what’s a t
    but a lone-
    it be

    Or a lovely beverage
    enjoyed by the British

    No, my twist, lost its wist
    back in

  44. Andy Ringstrom

    I loved the poem by RLB, the twist made me laugh and brought up feelings of Sept 11 (wierd)and the people on United 93 but it was a good thought

  45. Linda

    Finally a chance to read through these… super. I drew a blank with this prompt all day yesterday, my head was busy processing other things. Sarah and Michelle, your poems gave me goosebumps. Peace, Linda

  46. Candace Armstrong

    So many bridges I have crossed
    And all the memories I’ve lost
    Because I wanted something new
    And didn’t know just what to do
    All that lurks in a time called "past"
    There is no moment that will last
    After one last lingering look
    I’ll burn my private his’try book.

  47. Devon Brenner

    At Dauphin Island

    The beach is
    adorned with
    empty conch and
    four legged starfish,
    jelly fish bodies,
    and round, smooth stones,
    with sand castles melting in the tide,
    and our Disney Princess kite flying in a crisp breeze,
    with waders and swimmers
    in beach shoes and bikinis
    and small children who creep right up to the edge
    then run squealing
    when the water hits their toes.
    At Dauphin Island
    the beach is embellished
    with horseshoe crabs
    listing from the depths
    with their messages of prehistoric eternity,
    and dolphins
    carving arcs of exuberance
    parallel to the coast as they head for
    Mobile Bay.
    At Dauphin Island,
    the tides bedeck
    the shoreline
    with an abundance of shells
    lines of seaweed
    and, two years later,
    the debris of Katrina,
    a broken bicycle
    an upside-down toilet
    and half a pair of scissors,
    rusting in the sand.

  48. Robin Morris

    The Twist

    I was just a kid, I could do anything:
    no one thought you could be sexual
    even if you posed topless in the bathtub
    and thought you were alluring
    until you saw the Polaroid
    revealing nothing that a boy didn’t have.
    In one of the dances you held your nose
    and waved goodbye like the famous drowner
    then sprang up again alive.
    We were girls but our hair was cut like the Beatles’
    mop tops. We sang into mics
    made out of toilet paper rolls.
    We could dance the twist so hard so long
    our feet made dents in the earth.

    (Sorry, I couldn’t think of a plot twist and got drawn by my associations with the word. I am so amazed at how other people come up with these. You rock everyone!)

  49. Linda

    Office Politics

    At today’s meeting,
    your eyes
    shot vitriol
    into me,
    and I
    spewed it back
    in my heart,
    clenching all my manners
    into one tight knot
    so as not to lose them.

    So later,
    when your finger
    beckoned me
    into your office
    I was ready
    to pounce with words.

    But your body
    into the chair,
    a receptive crescent,
    and you said,
    "My wife was diagnosed…"

    Late on this – communication problems of a sort. Peace, Linda

  50. Carla Cherry

    There aren’t enough hours in the day, so this is late!

    The Rushing

    From work to class to a meeting.
    The long phone call
    from the ex I can’t forget.
    And then,
    when the hour hand hits twelve,
    there is peace.
    My sweetest part of day
    (OK, it’s night).

    Time to ruminate
    about the
    stubby blades of grass
    emerging from the newly pregnant soil,
    opening buds
    of tree leaves,
    the fragrance of cherry blossoms,
    and shedding of winter clothes.

    I sneeze.
    My eyes water.

    I boil a cup of water,
    drop a bag of goldenseal tea
    in a cup.
    I’m feeling sick
    in the middle of this poem
    that is supposed to end
    with a twist.

    This lemon
    will have to do.

  51. Susan Reichert


    I do not profess to know
    what goes on in your mind.
    I cannot say I know
    what you are feeling now.
    But I can say I am here for you
    and I can tell you I love you.
    You are the best dog I’ve ever had.

    April 16

  52. Jay Sizemore

    No blood

    I didn’t get to choose
    the first written lines,
    not the setting,
    not the style,
    not the language
    or the characters’ names.

    It was the accident
    of an irresponsible muse
    and two less than qualified
    authors, that this manuscript
    was fathered,
    orphaned, left
    on the doorstep
    of my open hands.

    I adopted the task
    when I opened my eyes,
    it seemed as easy
    as breathing.

    The narrative flowed,
    the characters grew,
    as I made the story my own,
    stacking plot devices
    and paragraphs like sheets
    of paper in piles,
    numbering the margins
    to keep track of the time,
    I worked day and night
    around the clock,
    ideas spilling like ink
    shaped into letters
    out of my ears
    stopping only to dream,
    thinking maybe this
    was what I was born to do,
    maybe this is one book
    that I’ll never
    want to finish.

    But every story
    eventually must conclude,
    this one just became
    too complex to see through,
    too many interwoven
    elements and threads,
    too many questions
    left unanswered,
    too many loose ends,
    too much drama
    without a reward,
    too much cynicism
    of a broken hearted world,
    I just reached a wall,
    re-penning the same empty lines
    over and over and over again,
    trying to squeeze
    hope from a rock
    to find more light
    between these keys,
    but the same stupid conclusion
    is all I am able to see,
    if I am brave enough
    to admit that it’s over
    and say good-bye
    to all these characters
    I helped create
    for the last time.

    I imagine that when I do it,
    when I write this novel’s last page,
    there will be no blood
    to clean up at the scene,
    there will only be words.

  53. Shirley T.

    Mystic Light

    Etched on the night sky
    Like a new constellation,
    Now flashing, now glowing,
    Some heat lightning fascination?
    Now far away, now closer,
    Should I run to you? Unsure.
    I stop, back away.
    I’m safe from your allure.
    Undulating lights, are you
    Omen of impending storm,
    Or have I found the
    Vehicle of some alien life form?
    Mystified but compelled
    I run to you, in your thrall.
    Beckoning lights

    Lead me to that new mall!

    Shirley T

  54. Barbara Ehrentreu

    This is based on a flash story I wrote with the same name. When you gave us this prompt I realized I could use it for the poem. Very clever idea. Keep them coming.


    All excited about celebrating
    her anniversary, Mary gazed
    across the bay at the spot
    where they were to dock.
    She held a perfect red rose,
    thorns removed, in her right
    hand and in her left she sipped
    from a glass of champagne

    Laughing at the joke her
    husband had tossed off in the last
    second, she anticipated the
    evening and how she was
    going to dine on the finest
    food from gold trimmed plates
    afterward dance under the
    Venetian stars celebrating
    the twenty years they’d been wed.

    He rowed with his muscular arms
    taut as each stroke brought the couple
    closer to the place where they’d met.
    She liked to watch the way his face
    scrunched as he leaned over the oars
    sweat rolling down his cheeks and
    staining his shirt.
    He’d worn his best shirt tonight as
    they traveled from their shoreline
    villa to recreate the magical moment

    Flushed with pleasure and certain
    she was making the right decision
    Mary set her glass down and transferred
    her flower to the other hand
    She glanced over and in one motion
    pushed her husband overboard
    Knowing he couldn’t swim she watched
    as he bobbed up spluttering for air.
    "Was she worth it?" she said as his
    head came up for the last time?

  55. Diane

    OK, I know this is bad, but…

    There’s been a robbery, a terrible theft!
    Of a valuable possession I now am bereft.
    I know it’s a bad pun; I couldn’t resist…
    There on your plate is MY cinnamon twist!

  56. Mike Padg

    Standing beneath a cloudless rain,
    the sky bleeds in torrents like a gaping wound.
    I question its meaning
    without a single thought to its being.
    The falling drops are born from nothing
    into something
    and back to nothing again.
    Such perfection is only appreciated
    as an afterthought to the beauty of this ceaseless flood.
    The mere presence of the storm would stop
    all but the coldest hearts,
    but had it not,
    none who bore witness to such a surreal downpour
    could ever manage to stay afloat for long anyhow.
    Water streams down my cheeks with such grace,
    these tears are not my own.
    What great sorrow have we brought upon ourselves
    to make the heavens cry in such a way?
    Were I alone,
    I believe in that time,
    beneath that onslaught of falling rain,
    there was a glimmer of a place where I might find peace.
    Such a place for me has always been
    somehow, someway, somewhere out of reach.

    Tranquility interrupted becomes a vengeful beast,
    and my thoughts turn back to the fact that I am not alone.
    A decrepit old man hunches off to my side,
    just so.
    He evades my direct sight,
    yet he becomes an irritation,
    like a twitch in the corner of the eye,
    Not far enough to be away,
    yet not close enough to be nearby.
    His proximity is unnerving.
    His tattered torn clothes
    consume the wrinkled flesh
    hanging from his contorted bones,
    encasing him within a stinking sack of putrid filth;
    all the while his matted mangled whiskers
    lay claim to that which had once not been their own.
    There was something terribly odd about him,
    like a hint of benevolence gone arigh.
    I felt almost as if he were cursing me behind my back
    as I stared him in the face.
    ……I am waist deep in this deluge.
    The sky teases with its clarity,
    but the rain shows no mercy of slowing.
    I enjoy my droplet chorus as the water falls unto its whole,
    and reaches yearningly back towards the heavens
    in one final attempt at escape
    before once again being reclaimed by its sea of brothers.
    It reminded me of a fountain
    I had once stopped to watch so very long ago.

    The man still stares.
    He offers me no assistance as the waters rise
    and he continues to glare,
    emotionless in his gaze,
    eager in his poise…
    Jesus, that stance.
    The way he bent watching me,
    was the malevolence I had seen before.
    He stood with a youth unbecoming of his age.
    Eager even,
    like a vulture anxiously circling a dying
    His insipid glaring eyes
    pierced through me
    with the wanting of an unsatiated soul
    …they terrified me.
    He didn’t move.
    I never saw the slightest flinch
    from this half-starved specter of a man.
    Never did he even blink as the rain tore into him,
    yet somehow he drew closer,
    gliding without motion
    across the surge of rising waters
    …too close.
    I detested every inch of his entire being,
    for as panic engulfed me like the rising tide
    I understood his purpose
    …he was,
    he was here to watch me die.
    Freezing becomes merely a descriptive word
    compared to the cold I felt take hold inside.
    Streaking waters fall down my cheeks with far less grace,
    these tears are my own.
    They add a much needed spice to this saltless sea.
    I hear the water drumming in an otherworldy echo.
    It seemed so distant,
    almost as if I were listening
    to the muffled screams of people
    shouting behind closed doors.
    Endless circles of falling light
    dance upon my face
    beneath the crest of ceaseless waves overhead.
    A calmness I have never known embraces me
    with a warmth that would rival that of a mother’s love.

    As if through a looking glass,
    the man’s disfigured silhouette still looks down upon me emblazoned by the light above.
    My body goes numb
    …quietly drowning as the waters fill my lungs,
    shadows of wings appear,
    and I never thought that I could have ever been so wrong.
    I reach out to embrace him,
    and my heart beats on.

  57. Cara Alson

    Okay, don’t say I didn’t warn you: this is more Twilight Zone than Alfred Hitchcock. I’ll just say I had a very active imagination when I was little. I think you’ll agree…


    Fleeting Friends

    When I was small
    I’d play with big brother Garry
    and Michael and Susie,
    a mischievous pair.

    They’d hide from me
    but I knew they were near,
    they always came with Garry,
    stayed around until he left.

    When Garry was asleep
    I’d talk with my friends,
    make up songs about them
    until Garry woke up
    and took them away.

    One day, I don’t recall when,
    I let them be, just those three,
    never again to play
    with my make-believe friends.

    And once again they were known
    by their given names –
    Left foot & Right foot.

  58. Karen


    The Operation

    With great care, I open up the patient,
    My instrument sharp and sanitized,
    My mind weary, but alert enough
    For this procedure.
    I have undertaken this operation
    Many times before.
    Perhaps not this late in the day.
    The direction to take,
    In this case,
    Lies not as clear as other times.
    I shake off the blurred thoughts,
    The distracting noises around me
    And concentrate.
    An incision here
    A suture there
    And the patient is ready to be
    Returned from whence she came.
    I attach and hit send.
    My daughter can read my critique and
    suggested edits of her paper.

  59. Leigh-Evelyn Martin

    Can’t sleep. Must have been my subconscious reminding me that I didn’t write a poem earlier today! So many poets here and I really like seeing how everyone’s responses take shape. Lots of good company abound!

    Games People Play

    We were at war with words
    when you chose to question me.
    I thought you knew me well
    and sick with my language.

    Your every move is puzzling.
    Your wooden stares ignite little
    fires and I do not trust you
    and your savage poker face.

    Maybe someday you will understand
    how long I have allowed you
    your turn. This time, let me put down
    my Scrabble word; a triple-word-score.

    –Leigh-Evelyn Martin

  60. Crystal Cameron

    It’s time for you to wake up.
    I know you’re tired, but you’re late.
    Get in the shower, don’t take too long.
    Wash your hair, and brush you’re teeth.
    Pick out an outfit. Can you do it by yourself?
    Let me know if you need any help.
    It’s quarter of, you’re going to need to hurry up.
    Let me take a look. You’ve done so well!
    You’re shirt matches your skirt
    and you’re hair is combed and neat.
    Now get in your car and head to work.
    I’ll see you when you get home, mom.

  61. Deb Hill

    April 16 day 16


    Babies asleep in their strollers, while
    being bathed in sunshine and dew.
    The strollers position are feet to
    feet , not allowing any strangers through.
    Their Nanny’s reciting the signs, shown
    late last night on channel ten
    news. All the talk was centered on
    these final days, for all the
    resources had been used.

    Time to think on another subject,
    as one must enjoy every day.
    They began the good nature comparing,
    of five tiny beings that way.
    The talking take turns of toothless
    grins,and dimpled chins but seems
    different some how this time.

    The sudden waking of infants,puts
    Nanny’s on quick alert. As the babies
    lids slowly lift open, what once was
    blue is now colored dirt.
    A bright red light is pulsing and
    seen when staring out
    Fear is shaping up to sound-
    Shocked into understanding the Nanny’s

    **The Sign**
    If five shall circle together all brown with bright red must be found .
    Then earth will charge it’s spirit and convulse and lay itself down.

  62. Marcus Smith

    (sorry, had to add one more that just came to me after I overheard a conversation on the metro this morning – a little twist here at the end!)

    “Four dollar fries”

    The banter of two women on the DC Metro
    caught my attention the other morning.
    I don’t know anyone living in our neighborhood
    that hasn’t been shot at least once! said one woman.
    You ain’t heard nuthin’ yet said the other
    my Pregnant daughter got shot
    between the eyes by a stray bullet and lived
    and my nephew got killed in ’97,
    hell, I was shot in the leg just walking down the street!
    But you know the biggest crime on our block?
    The new hamburger joint.
    I ain’t payin’ no four dollars for no fries!

  63. Marcus Smith

    “Unfinished Work”

    She sits in the easy chair
    Directly in front of the roaring fire
    Reading my rough manuscript
    She says can we have a late dinner
    I want to finish this
    I want to find out what happens at the end.
    Oh you don’t want to do that I say
    It’s not ready…I’m not ready.
    Don’t be silly she says
    Don’t be so damn insecure.
    I watch her read
    I’m beside myself
    I’m not ready for her to…
    For me to…
    I’m on the last chapter she says
    Just give me a few more minutes
    This couple you wrote about
    She’s so strong and he’s so…weak.
    Just keep reading I say
    As I gather strength
    And move in behind her
    Wanting more than ever
    For her to be finished.
    Oh my God she says as she turns to look at me
    I think he’s going to kill her!

  64. Judy Roney

    The stewardess was blonde, blue-eyed, and gorgeous
    every man on the plane sat at attention
    including my husband who tried hard not to stare
    I offered to introduced him to the beautiful woman
    it just so happened that I knew Jeanette well
    we were best friends all through Jr. High
    but then her name was George.

  65. Yoli

    Thank you, Carol and IleanaCarmina, it’s perfectly ok to laugh. :) Thank you so much for your compliments.
    Tonya, I was hysterical!
    Carol, the visual I have in my head is priceless!
    "He is stunning
    In my lavender chiffon"
    I love it!
    Linda, I have 1 sister and we have that same joke! Especially when I want something…she’s the big sis. ;)
    ck, I was mortified with you, I did the same thing…
    JL, wow!
    McKenna, good work.

    There are such amazing poems here. Robert, I think you’re going to have a tough time picking highlights from these!

  66. Jeanette J McAdoo


    I have a secret friend who’s always there for me,
    She makes me laugh and gives me comfort anytime I need.
    She persuedes me to believe in myself and opens my eyes to see,
    My worries vanish I feel carefree and never have to plead.

    When I’m upset I go to my room I’ll always find her there,
    She’s jolly and laugh’s and filled with glee,
    Waiting to support me give me comfort and care,
    I look inn the mirror there she is my split personality.

  67. VS Bryant

    4/16/08 –

    Sitting here watching the birds fly
    Listening to their sweet soft music
    See how graceful they move through the air
    So soft, so slender, what a sight to be shared
    Here comes mom ready to ruin my stare
    Baby how many times have I told you not it’s just the wall don’t stare

  68. Carol Brian

    My compliments to Hitchcock. He did it so well, but not I.


    Email is terrific
    So Johnny-on-the spot
    Except for that time I accidentally sent it
    To the person I had thought I’d not.

  69. McKenna Watts

    “what do you want to be when you grow up?”
    “what do you want to be when you grow up?”
    at 3,I dreamt of being a ballerina
    at 5,I dreamt of being a teacher
    at 7,I dreamt of being a brain surgeon
    at 10,I dreamt of being a serious journalist
    at 13,I dreamt of being a serious fashion journalist
    at 16,I dreamt of being a genetics counselor
    but who would have ever thought that at 17,
    I would have dreamt of being a mother
    Now,looking at my daughter,
    I dream that she dreams even bigger than I ever did.

    this was my first time doing this poem-a-day challenge.
    it may not be as good,im only 16. [:

  70. Corinne

    I’m so bummed. I guess I will have to come back to this, although it occurred to me that my Harley Quinn poem to Kateri’s Joker was a pretty good twist. Maybe I’m all twisted out? (HA!) Anyway, I’m dry. :pouts in corner: But there sure is some fun stuff in here today.


  71. Joannie Stangeland


    So quietly I climbed the stairs
    to bring you this gift, a small
    morsel, a tiny treat–just the way
    to greet you in the morning,
    the harvest of my labor
    and my patience. Tenderly,
    I carry it, but–oh, so tempting.
    I try and I fight and I fail.
    By the second landing,
    my delicate present
    is just a few thin feathers
    and the heart I left for you.

  72. Omavi

    Best Dressed Day

    Nicely pressed
    This is my day, my perfect day
    As everything is set up and primped
    And everything
    Yes everything fine and finer still
    Nails perfectly cleaned
    Hair perfectly trimmed
    Even the nose hairs level to a point
    Just a tad bit of foundation
    To make the highlights of my cheeks stand out
    This is a day, just a perfect day
    The day when I smile the greatest smile
    That has ever graced my face
    This is my day
    Such a wonderific day
    When al worries are nullified and serenity
    Is the word of the day
    And damn I do look good in a double-breasted
    Armani suit, cut to fit me perfectly
    And shoes that reflects everything clearly
    And the only perfect tie knot
    That’s has ever been made
    Looking like the man and yes
    One hell of a man
    So everyone can see the man I was
    Looking like a millions dollars
    For my funeral today

  73. Cari


    I saw you at age two
    when my big sister was tying my shoe.

    My best friend you became,
    though my mom thought I was insane.

    You never let me down,
    even when I had a frown.

    We went everywhere together,
    no matter what the weather.

    I even bought you a shiny red collar.
    It only cost a dollar.

    You were always there for me,
    I mourn for you beneath our tree.

    That car did not see you lying there.
    Oh life can be so unfair.

    Oh dear pet rock I will miss you so.
    I’ll visit everyday, I love you Moe.

  74. Callan Bignoli-Zale


    One Christmas, I thought I’d found
    the perfect display case
    for the antique Dresden ornament
    that’d been in my family
    for at least four generations.

    For about sixty seconds,
    it looked spectacular in there
    as it spun around so slow,
    its shiny sequins all alight
    amidst that faded amber glow…

    Imagine my surprise when,
    after the first minute passed,
    the ancient hand-crafted
    three-inch nativity scene
    went up in white-hot flames.

    I’m still sorry, Grandma Ilsa.
    There was no excuse. Look.
    I guess should’ve set that
    Sharp Carousel "display case"
    to Low. Or even Sensor Cook.

    – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

    (Poet’s note: This is not a true story. As one can [probably] tell from both my given and surnames, I’m not exactly Germanic in origin. And the only thing I’ve ever blown up in a microwave was a breakfast pastry of some sort.)

  75. Tria

    Late Autumn in Pangboche

    No snow today
    though I longed to read
    the sweetly curved beds
    of your footsteps
    in its expanse.
    I waited. Listened
    for your ragged breath,
    the hush of the wind
    in your hair.
    Memory traced the halfpipe turn
    of your spine,
    shoulders hunched
    against the cold.
    I sat and waited.
    Yeti, you never came.
    No snow today.

    by Tria

  76. Sally DiUlus

    Poem with a Twist
    PAD #16

    By Sally DiUlus
    April 16, 2008

    Skitty lives on my street
    In the corner house
    Where wild her garden grows;
    Petunias, wind their way in ivy
    Growing color in the rows.
    Beyond the glorious flowers
    Her bottle collection flows
    Placed about her kitchen
    Cut flowers here bestowed.
    A dream-catch of bottles perching
    Shapes and sizes she shows
    Me one shaped like a body
    Green and clear that sparkly glows.
    I peer my face up to the glass
    And hear a rumbling prose
    “Sub a Dub a Dub a Dub a Dub
    A Dub”, is that what I suppose?
    A little fearful of the noise
    Skitty wrinkles her puggy nose
    I wake up with a sudden start
    Talking in my sleep again, Oh No!
    Sally DiUlus, sdiulus@cefe.org

  77. maeve63

    Alfred Hitchcock Prompt –

    The geese are chasing the people away
    from their eggs, down by the river.
    The lawn is a beautiful shade of summer green
    decorated with romantic iron benches.
    Look at the Hollyhocks showing their hues of
    sky, and blush, and sun.
    The day is open, flowing wide toward forever
    and I’m so glad you came to visit.
    Cobblestone steps guide the way back to the patio
    which delivers its closure.
    The electroshock therapy is going well
    please come to see me again.

  78. SaraV


    The Wink

    You had me at the wink
    Across the market aisle
    My heart did a flipflop
    When you gave me a smile
    I drew closer and saw
    Your muscular thigh
    It was so well developed
    How could I help but sigh?
    And when I reached for you
    Your hair so soft to touch
    Who knew I’d ever love
    A Husky puppy so much?

  79. SaraV

    The Wink

    You had me at the wink
    Across the market aisle
    My heart did a flipflop
    When you gave me a smile
    I drew closer and saw
    Your muscular thigh
    It was so well developed
    How could I help but sigh?
    And when I reached for you
    Your hair so soft to touch

    COMMENT Patti and Ian nice work! Love the couch poem LOL
    Who knew I’d ever love
    A Husky puppy so much?

  80. Michelle H.

    What an amazing day!! You are ALL Wonderful!!
    Nancy – great twist!
    Renee – yours was sweet.
    Debra – I too felt the loss.
    Iain – You had me blushing until the end! Ha ha! thanks!
    Vanessa – I use to fill that way – now I do it everyday!
    Michelle Cooper – cute twist.
    Carol at Amherst – love the chiffon twist!
    Rodney – You got me – I thought it was a dog until the purr!
    Sara – Wow, I’m sorry for all you have loss.
    Thanks everyone! I enjoy reading these every day!! Thank you Robert for putting this together – Great Challenge!!
    Michelle H.

  81. Anahbird


    This morning I told you
    My discontents
    How you only notice me
    When you need me
    Or when I’ve done
    Something wrong
    How you make me
    Feel invisible
    How much your
    Criticism hurts
    How you want
    To be in control
    But at the same time
    Don’t want to be bothered
    By the details
    This and much more
    I said to you this morning

    And you
    You didn’t reply
    Because like always
    You are never there for me
    Maybe you’re the one
    Who is invisible, not me?

  82. Jenny Brandon

    You KNOW I do what I can
    I try to raise you right
    I give you everything you need
    I put up with your sass
    The way you taunt me
    Over my mistakes
    Telling the whole world
    That I neglected you
    For a moment
    How can you be so hurtful?
    Stupid seeds.

  83. Michelle H.

    “Doors Open Then Close”

    In the kitchen
    Just the baby and I
    I hear a door open then close.

    I look at the baby
    I look down the stairs
    I wonder…maybe… who goes?

    I go back to the sink
    I don’t hear a thing
    It was my imagination I suppose.

    I hear a door open then close.

    I pick up the phone
    I walk through the house
    Nothing and no one is found.

    Back in the kitchen
    And a little on edge
    I suddenly start to shake.

    The door from below
    That opened and closed
    Is not a door, my mistake.

    Baby’s vibrating chair
    Is the door that opened then closed
    With each little kick she makes.

    April 16, 2008
    © Michelle H.
    (This is a true story! I was a nervous mother, correction, I am a nervous mother. ;-))

  84. Sara McNulty

    This is the toughest challenge for me so far . . .

    Walter, please come in
    You will make me late again
    You are a stubborn Bassett Hound
    Your paws planted solidly on the ground

    I can’t arrive a moment late
    This horrid new boss holds my fate
    I dangle a treat and Walter trots in
    I lock the door and in a tailspin

    I race to the bus and clearly see
    It is heading downtown, not waiting for me
    We are stopped at the Brooklyn Battery tunnel
    But before we can enter there’s a flash and a rumble

    We watch the plane approach the tower
    Then crash and burst into flames as we cower
    I witness my building crumble in ashes of gray
    It’s six minutes past nine, on a sunny September day

    This is a true story and Walter just passed away this year.

  85. LBC

    Dead Stop

    You pack your bags
    Destined for the haven
    Where brightly colored scarves
    Wrap hairless heads
    And smiles hide the pain.
    Prepared for the treatment
    That poisons your cells
    Attacking cancer in your blood.
    A seven-month ritual
    Stealing your energy
    Testing your courage
    Sapping your strength.
    Through it all
    You keep the faith,
    Put up a front,
    Struggle toward the line
    That will finish the race.
    Voice on the phone
    Stops you dead in your tracks
    With one word:

  86. LBC


    Feelin’ frisky
    Wearin’ a flouncey flowery blouse
    Over a swingin’ silky skirt,
    Red-hot chili pepper nails protrudin’ from open-toed sandals
    Matchin’ earrings danglin’
    Highlighted hair shimmerin’ sunshine.
    Lookin’ to salsa or cha-cha or tango,
    Radiatin’ heat.
    Checkin’ my reflection,
    Feelin’ forlorn
    When did I get old?

  87. Beth Browne

    This poem was inspired by a family I saw at Walmart the other day:

    A Day in the Life

    I have the path to myself
    as I walk around the lake
    no jogging for me, just a slow
    easy walk. Doc says I need to lose
    a few pounds. Who doesn’t?

    I don’t wear any headphones,
    the better to hear the birds
    shriek and chitter in their frantic
    search for mates and food.

    Across the lake the dogwoods
    punctuate the pines at intervals
    making bright reflections in the
    smooth surface of the water.

    As I go, I am thinking about
    the work on my desk at home
    phone calls to be made,
    bills to be paid, and my lovely wife
    who’ll be waiting with dinner
    when I get there.

    She’s even shorter than me:
    three feet seven.

  88. tim

    did the neigbors hear the screams
    as dawn looks to break
    there have been screams from their home
    i never peered in
    mental exhaustion catches
    hands grab the rail before collapsing
    still wet from the spilled…
    piercing screams echoe
    each breath slowing
    sly smile, though, breaks
    understanding the limp body
    now quiet from its struggle
    moving the broken bottle
    i reach to pull over a new dry blanket
    as our baby finally sleeps

  89. Rodney C. Walmer

    I could not sleep knowing that I did not have an entry for today, here is a quick and dirty little piece I did with a twist about one of my pets, see if you can guess which. :-)

    The bone

    She eyed the bone
    emitting a guttural growl
    when others came near
    When she first saw it
    she was all alone
    now she had the fear
    that she would have to share

    This was her territory
    all around knew the story
    she had marked every tree
    every bush, and all you see
    there was nothing wrong with her
    when her favorite came along
    she would start to purr. . .

    ©Rodney C. Walmer 4/16/08 poem with a twist, for Prompt #16

  90. Mario Jaime

    Good Times

    "Inseparable", they’d call us
    We made each other so happy
    And our life was the best circus
    And each day was just so dreamy

    You said you bought me a present
    But then your lovely face turned gray
    "Here you go." The voice hesitant
    It was a train, to go away

  91. Justin Evans

    Another Tranny Anthem?

    Well, she’s 5’9" and she carries a monkey wrench.
    She weighs more by the foot than she does by the inch.
    She’s got all the downtown boys, all at her command,
    But you’ve got to watch her closely, cause . . .
    She ain’t no woman, she’s a man.
    —Bob Dylan, "Jet Pilot"

    So many freaks out here on D Street
    this could be a Lou Reed song. What’s more,
    you can’t tell the Johns from the Janes
    even after they lift their skirts to give you a thrill.

    While Randy the Tranny Granny walks past
    I count up all the pop songs about that brand of kink,
    asking whether they’re a thing of the past.
    Looking around I’d say there’s room for at least one more.

    So many stories of hustlers out on the street
    I simply don’t know where to start telling mine. I’ll admit
    time is a factor—job, family, the hearings I attend,
    and then. . . there’s my J.O.B. with the G.O.P.

  92. Kevin

    Morning Nest

    The beauty of robins
    nesting, precarious,
    atop the window’s ledge,
    eggs the blue of skys,
    grasses woven intricate,
    divine. The sleek shards
    of blue, sprinkled shell
    the sign of life anew.
    The sharp eye glistening,
    mother dewing morning worms,
    just a moment, enough
    to bring the crow to roost,
    the pretty babies nevermore.

  93. Rodney C. Walmer

    As promised for today. Not my official entry though. Just a place holder, so to speak.

    Dream walking, Dream talking

    He took a walk in her dreams
    down memory lane
    and to the right
    He found two streams
    one filled with candy cane
    and the other just a little light

    He stumbled in the darkness
    tripped and fell down
    landing in a pool of sorrow
    too dark to dismiss
    he stopped to look around
    no exit
    oh well, maybe tomorrow. . .

    (C) Rodney C. Walmer 11/10/07 Inspired by a random meaningless thought.

  94. Rodney C. Walmer

    Hi, everyone, sorry for my absence today, I had a very nasty infection on my computer, I got it when someone sent me an email, did not wish to risk posting it here by accident. I am however happy to say that after many hours of work, it is gone, and my computer is once again safe. I have a poem, oddly enough that fits today’s prompt, but it’s cheating, because I did not write it today. I will post it, and make up for my absence by writing two poems tomorrow, one for today, and one for tomorrow. Thank you all for understanding.


  95. Alfred J Bruey


    The weather was perfect last night
    so we decided to go for a walk
    and the moon was full and bright
    and there were other couples
    out walking and we were all
    greeting each other with smiles
    and "good evenings" and we knew
    that nothing could go wrong
    on a night like this and then
    we both felt our fingers growing
    longer and noticed hair growing
    on each others’ faces and we
    were suddenly aware that some
    of the walkers weren’t going
    to have a pleasant walk
    this evening.

  96. ann malaspina

    "The Birds"

    Black flapping wings darken the sky.
    We cower, fearing the wild claws,
    The purple beaks, the sheer numbers;
    While Alfred smokes another cigar,
    Eyes wide open, lense fixed,
    Amazed at his magic.

  97. Joe

    A Twisted Poem

    “If you don’t want to do it,
    I’ll understand”.
    She said,
    “Believe me, I’m ready!”
    and tied her hair in a band.

    I gave her a wink
    She said with a grin
    “This is the most nervous
    I’ve ever been”.

    “Can we have a drink?
    I’m dying of thirst.”
    I nodded and smiled;
    It was first things first.

    “Hey barkeep,
    two seven-ups!”
    She laughed out loud
    And poured two cups.

    “Go easy, Pops,
    Try to be nice.
    Remember, you failed
    Your drivers test twice”

  98. John H Maloney

    This one turned out to be harder than I though it would. I actually ended up writing a lot of it backwards, starting with the twist and working from there.

    In a strange land

    On a long, dangerous trek,
    so far away from home,
    to an undiscovered land
    like none I’ve ever known.
    Struggling to comprehend
    what stands before my eyes
    What sort of strange world is this?
    My fear I can’t disguise.
    The inhabitants seem lost
    inside a self-made maze.
    Knowing not for what they search,
    roaming away their days.
    Tearing each other apart
    in search of validation
    as they waste their precious time
    in pointless celebration.
    Although not without it’s charm,
    for what it may be worth,
    it is a strange and hostile place.
    I think they call it … Urth?

  99. IleanaCarmina

    Nancy! That was fabulous!
    Welcome, Marin ~ glad you joined us.
    Iain, hilarious. You do such consistently good work. :)
    Yoli, nice topic. I really enjoyed the plaintive despair, feeling a bit guilty that I giggled, but the tone was so beautifully dry.

    Nice perfume, he says softly, smiling
    Inhaling deeply
    He says it reminds him of all the white girls
    And how they smelled of coconut oil
    Just before summer in high school
    Dedicated as they were to tanning
    He smiles in reminiscence
    But I can’t smile in return
    His eyes close and he thinks of being eighteen
    He tells me how much he yearned for one of those girls
    The popular girls, the perfect ones
    How seeing them sometimes made him feel more
    Like a man, like an outsider
    How wanting them made him feel less
    Like his dad, like an Indian
    His desire gave him a gift
    To see where he put himself in this world
    And to know how far that was from where his dad was
    When he was his age
    His eyes open and his smile dies
    And I get put back on the shelf again
    As the bathroom light switches off
    I wish there was a girl who wanted me, too

  100. Barbara Tzetzo Gosch

    A True Story Tear Jerker

    Many years ago I heard a story
    by an author on Public Radio.
    It caught my attention because
    of how he believed that
    acupuncture should be used
    for arthritis. “Yes,” he said,
    “I regret I didn’t provide this
    treatment earlier in my practice.
    When I think of all the lives
    I could have saved this way.”

    I was compelled to get his book.
    After reading the first few pages,
    I was hooked—intrigued
    with how the writer described
    his unique relationship with
    his nurse “Sadie.”

    No matter how late it was…
    whenever he was asked to go
    make house calls in rural areas
    his nurse went too.
    She had a special touch and
    her healing abilities were close to

    I thought what a medical team!

    Their relationship lasted
    ten years but like everything

    Sadie knew when her time
    was up and she was going to die.
    She got an injection to help her
    peacefully go to sleep.

    Sadie was an Irish Setter.
    The vet, her partner, ten years
    earlier—saved her life with
    daily injections. She was found
    abandoned with heart worm disease.

  101. Tonya Root

    Linda – Believe me, I know what you are saying. Each of these prompts is definitely stretching me. I read what others write and think…wow, what talent! I also think that each of these days that I write is one more stretch of my "writing muscle" and that eventually I’ll be up to the level of some of the great posters on here! Keep writing! I think ALL the posts on here are so great and valuable!

  102. Lyn Sedwick

    You look just like I remember

    And what a long time it’s been
    But that doesn’t matter, well, you
    Have put on a pound or two and maybe
    Your hair is a little thinner, but
    That smile–ah, I would know you
    Anywhere, and the laugh–Honey
    It does my heart good to hear it.
    Now just turn again and let me
    Get a good look. A wedding band?
    Oh goodie, I’m sorry I missed that,
    But now walk with me a bit so
    You can fill me in on your life
    While I was away. You can hear me
    Can’t you? Oh don’t ignore me, I
    Have only a few minutes left before
    I have to go back and wait and
    Wait for you to join your father
    And me in eternity…

    Lyn Sedwick

  103. Maria Jacketti

    The Bald Mouse Flies into an Old Movie

    The bald mouse flies
    on the back of the flying deer.
    Symbiotic lovers.

    Le chauve-souris est fatigué
    et le cerf volant connait les nuages:
    on parle des catastrophes.

    Mr. Hitchcock was chauve:
    his birds took on the manners of bats,
    the bald mice of Paris,
    those dying in caves of Upstate New York of strange fungal infections,
    disappearing like the frogs,
    the honeybees.
    I launch my harlequin deer for an answer,
    told like Franklin to fly a kite,
    environmentalist, with my head
    in the thunderstorms.

    Still some might melt a glacier in their evening cocktail:
    perhaps a stiff Manhattan?
    Mr. Hitchcock, the snow caps hot flash:
    I worry for the homeless Santa Claus and
    I am yenta-elect for the psycho-birds, the flying deer,
    and Dracula’s bald mummified mice.

    Maria Jacketti

    French le cerf volant, a kite, literally a flying deer
    Le chauve souris, a bat, literally, a bald mouse.

  104. Christiane

    I’m no rag doll to put
    My nose where my belly bottom is.

    So I kick off my left shoe
    And stare at the wind blown trees, imagining I’m in Norway

    Observing the yearly migration of swallows.
    I should have kept my yoga classes.

    I’m tight and tense in my intent to complete my task.
    I know I can‘t. I hold the rag doll and stare at it.

    The moment of truth comes when I throw it on the ground.
    The rag doll had a porcelain face.

  105. Kimberly K

    Spring in California
    lupine and poppies
    orange and purple
    with all that green
    playing backup

    Now that spring
    rebirth, with me
    lupine and poppies
    purple and orange
    embolden the scar
    where my left
    breast used to be.

  106. Teri Coyne

    Baby Shower

    The rec room of the condo
    was decorated with storks
    The gift table was bursting
    with boxes wrapped with bows
    and baskets filled with bottles
    for babies waiting to be born

    Name tags were diaper pinned
    on all the guests that had come
    Uncles, aunts and friends from work
    no one we knew had arrived yet

    The food table was filled
    with home made goodies
    pasta and sauce, sausgage and peppers
    and a cake as big as basinet

    The cocktails were smooth
    and poured by the pitcher
    punch with orange sherbet
    floating in the foam

    "This is the best one yet,"
    you said as we searched
    for Susan our Mommy to be
    we found Samantha instead
    as pregnant but not

    We showed her our invite
    she showed us the door
    right place, wrong day
    our party turned out to be a bore

  107. Lorraine Hart

    Sierra Leone Woman

    Polished mahogany skin
    she shines in the heat that
    makes her dress cling
    lips slightly parted tasting
    the day they invite thoughts
    of sweet kisses
    sweet beckoning door of mystery
    light plays across the movement of
    neck and breastbone’s sacred cross
    caresses each round ripeness hanging
    fruit beneath bright floral print
    hips sway below cotton hibiscus and cream
    with each lioness stride in gold dust
    her legs rich and dark flow
    flow like calling rivers
    calling rivers calling rivers
    make you swim upstream to the meeting
    between at the bubbling spring where
    she was mutilated for chaste tradition

    In Sierra Leone, the Bondo Society still forces female circumcision on young girls. I weep for my little sisters.

  108. Marin

    I just tried to post another poem I wrote, but it didn’t work for some reason . . . I was so inspired by all the great poems here that I wrote another one. Thank you Robert — and Thank you lisa for pointing me here. (hope you all enjoy the utter darkness of this next one.)


    I read an essay the other day
    about the state of the state of the world;
    The author had views most wouldn’t forgive,
    but I drank up each word of his unsettling news;
    I fought and fought
    to digest the words,
    my head swimming round
    like a carp;
    Alone and lonely
    I had to say that I felt
    like I lived in constant dark;

    It was a day like any other
    in a long string of days,
    except for the words in my head;
    I couldn’t forget
    what was typed out for me,
    nor remember to breathe in and out;

    The people that swarmed
    and gathered that day,
    swarmed at his side like bees,
    bees inexplicably drawn to the sweet;
    like the sweet of a can of whipped cream;
    The day continued to glare in my head
    and the sun confused all my thoughts;

    I knew then what was expected of me,
    so I sought this man who let his views flow,
    alone but not utterly lonely,
    frozen in a deep and dampened dark,
    then my knife slit his throat as he slept.

  109. M J Dills

    I can’t believe your cheekiness,
    Your lack of disrespect.
    You’re certainly the flakiest
    Coquette I ever met.
    With Manolos and Guccis,
    You skirt cut up to here –
    Originals by Pucci,
    And your lack of underwear;
    Might get you adoration
    And a night of random sex.
    Your brain is on vacation
    And your mother asks “what’s next?”
    I’m absolutely done with you
    You sneaky little tart
    You’ve made my life a total mess,
    You broke my boy friends heart.

  110. Linda Hofke

    To My Big Sister

    You are my favorite sister. I admit it’s true.
    I want to sing your praise ’cause they are long overdue.
    For showing me how to cook I pay my gratitude.
    And also for teaching me sincerity, patience, hope, and fortitude.
    Since you modelled good manners and the art of words so kind,
    I will state this fact to you that lingers on my mind:
    I’m blessed to have a sister as wonderful as you–
    Even if I had another I reckon it would still be true.

    Not sure if that really qualifies as a "twist" but it is a little joke my sis and I have about being the favorite, even though it’s just the 2 of us. Like I said before, I’m just doing this for fun, so every prompt is a major challenge for me. I am enjoying it though and think there are many talented people posting here. Thanks for letting me take part.

  111. Tonya Root

    Everyone’s poems are sooooo good today. Several including Iain’s, Nancy’s and Salvatore’s have made me laugh out loud. Every one of them here today is so good. Here’s my stumbling attempt.


    The Gift

    Friends and family gather around
    Oooing and aahhhing as we unwrap each pretty package
    The paper in silver and gold
    Announces with flair that we two will very soon be wed
    The largest gift waits
    We made the decision to save it until the very end
    It’s from his mom and dad
    And I’m sure that it is something incredibly nice
    Finally we’re almost done
    Surrounded by tissue and toasters and bows
    We got three crock pots
    So we’ll have to return a couple of those
    Now on to the biggest box
    He hands it to me with a smile of pride
    He is the apple of their eye
    But this one says it’s for me only
    I’m quite excited
    As I rip into the package
    Surprised that it’s
    Incredibly light
    Inside I find air
    And a small

    “This is for you to wear on your wedding night, dear.”

  112. Bruce Niedt

    Death in Suburbia

    Ah, Spring –
    I’ve put down roots here
    and I love my new home.
    Everything is greening up
    in the yard, where I bask
    in warm afternoon sun.
    My striking yellow hair
    draws so much attention.
    I am only one of many
    enjoying this April day,
    all of us out on the lawn
    soaking up the rays.

    But the master of the house
    has other ideas, and if it’s up to him,
    I won’t be around long enough
    for my hair to turn wispy gray,
    or even to see the summer.
    He’s hired someone to kill me –
    already the poison is coursing
    through my body, and I wither inside,
    as the hit man’s truck pulls away –
    “Green Guys Lawn Service” –
    with a picture of me,
    a dandelion, on the side.

  113. JL Smither


    “Are you coming to bed, Darling?” you call
    toward the bathroom door. I will soon,
    Darling, but let me gaze upon you first,
    study the way you remove your glasses,
    carefully replace the bookmark in your novel,
    and stretch to set them on the nightstand
    before clicking off the lamp. The smell
    of the jasmine outside the window surrounds
    your image, making you seem even more delicate.
    I watch the way you smile so sweetly
    while you snuggle down into the warm blanket
    that outlines your legs. I’ll be there soon, Darling,
    the next time you forget to lock this window.

  114. ck

    Twisted Text

    She thought of him all day, all night,
    And couldn’t wait for dawn’s new light
    To get in touch, express desire,
    Then see him by the evening fire.

    He texted her a short love note,
    She texted back, she wrote and wrote.
    One hundred-sixty characters
    Per screen allowed, no poem, no verse.

    Dreamy, hazy love clichés, these,
    Images of rose and daisies,
    Fantasies of sex and wine with
    This man so divine and lithe.

    He wrote back once and with passion,
    Then his words ceased — not his fashion.
    Examining her recent log
    Of texts, of words gushing full hog,

    And wondering what could have happ’d,
    She thought she’d been too full of sap.
    But really texts meant just for Dan
    She’d texted to another man!

    (I’m really groaning over this one. Sigh.)

  115. Tad Richards

    Time to file a report
    they’ll be worrying
    about me
    its been three weeks
    since I last made contact 65346

    short wave radio
    shorted out
    I’ve repaired it
    so many times but now
    flux exhausted

    torch burned out
    can’t heat solder
    it won’t flow up the joint
    have to improvise
    getting there 34653

    crackling static
    sound fading in and out
    got to let them know
    I’m still here
    it’s dead again

    the last thing I hear is 65346
    they’ve got a new dance
    it goes like
    this and its name
    is the peppermint twist

  116. KP

    My Soulmate

    We met at a party.
    He was thin, dark and handsome.
    He had a quirky personality,
    and was a little nutty.
    But we really hit it off.
    Started spending most
    of our time together.
    When I get home from a long
    day at work, he’s there.
    He doesn’t mind when I focus
    my attention on him, often putting off dinner.
    He lets me watch reality TV, snuggling
    up with me on the couch.
    He doesn’t mind if I let the
    dishes wait ‘til tomorrow.
    He doesn’t mind if I sleep late.
    I think he’s really sweet.
    All of my friends are envious of
    the time we spend together.
    They don’t know how I spend so
    much time with him, and so little time at the gym.
    There’s just something about him – my Hershey bar.

  117. Lorien Vidal

    Beach Queen

    A side of slinkness
    As she glides across the boardwalk
    Gleaming glint of glass in hand
    She flicks her ash in the sand
    Takes another drag and brights the enbers at the end
    As the sun surrenders to the oceans licks
    She enters the crowd at the bar
    And it swallows her likeness
    Leaning towards one of her crowd
    "Does anybody have a tampax?"

  118. Kateri Woody

    "Envied Prowess"

    Fingers plucking at the skin,
    gentle caresses of the yellowing
    sallow carcass gives me chills;
    fattened digits probing,
    holding down the intended science project
    though it’s prone form
    will not put up any fight.

    The way your knife slides in
    and out of flesh undeterred because
    of your grace is daunting;
    your skills so refined
    and honed that it even puts
    my butchery skills to shame.

    Your tool’s serrated edge is like
    cooled molten steel solidified,
    running through liquid butter, oh
    it doesn’t matter how pathetic
    the simile – you’re simply divine.

    Effortless in the very way you deign proper technique,
    words combining with the precise
    slashing, but not hacking, no just
    stroking smoothly, aiming only
    to flay the meat;
    muscles and tendons peel right off
    the sickly, sticky blood stained bones.

    You’re a true artist who knows
    where to discover the cold
    non-beating heart, the gizzards
    unpackaged and limp deep within
    cavities that cannot look quite
    as effervescent and inviting
    without your sultry gravel voice
    shedding knowledge’s fine light upon it.

    Is it so wrong for me to feel this way?
    To want to have such
    skillful, fluid and elegant precision
    that makes separation of skeleton
    and meat seem so easy…
    Oh Julia Child, I envy thee
    and thy chicken cutting prowess.
    You were the one woman
    who had any finesse;
    I am embittered knowing you’re dead
    but at least I can watch your smiling face
    replay from my video tapes.

  119. TaunaLen

    icy cold
    a barrier
    cool to the touch
    making my mouth
    water in anticipation
    a late afternoon pick
    me up just out of my
    reach a red and white
    strip of bright color
    and four letters on
    the clear obstacle
    between me and
    quenched thirst
    if I can just
    decipher this
    cryptic clue
    “twist to open”

    TLS, April 2008

    (P.S. When centered on the page, this poem is in the shape of a bottled soft-drink.)

  120. Emily Blakely

    "The Proposal"

    His brown eyes showed serious affection
    and he popped ‘the question’ as we stood
    beneath a large old tree. We’ve been friends
    for years now, at least three, but my parents said
    more time was needed. I wondered if
    they saw something that I didn’t and felt
    it best if their recommendation were heeded.
    Back beneath the large old tree the matter
    was solemnly discussed and he and I concluded
    that one more year would not be too tough.
    By then we would both be six, quite old enough.

  121. Bill Kirk

    A Burger’s Burger’s Tale
    By Bill Kirk

    At dinner one spring evening,
    The crowd was all aglow,
    As conversation sparkled
    And drinks began to flow.

    But over in one corner
    There was a lonely sight.
    Two burgers looked impatient,
    While waiting for a bite.

    At first quite hot and steamy—
    I’d even say, irate—
    One burger cooled off quickly.
    Because some friends were late.

    The other burger sat there,
    Still seething and displeased.
    No doubt from top to bottom
    That burger’d gotten cheesed.

    Then almost in an instant,
    I noticed something strange.
    Both burgers’ dispositions
    Began to make a change.

    The French fries finally got there,
    Then Ketchup and a Coke.
    The nibbles turned to gobbles
    Both burgers went for broke.

    At last when they were finished,
    With one delicious bite.
    The well-fed Burgermeister,
    Then vanished in the night.

  122. Lori


    "Every breath you take, every move you make, I’ll be
    watching you." ~Sting

    When I first noticed you noticing me
    I didn’t think too much about it.
    I didn’t think I was your type,
    a wife and mom of thirty something years.
    But then I turned the corner and
    I could still feel your eyes on me.
    Staring, penetrating, unnerving.
    I fumbled with my purse, and
    glanced around furtively,
    hoping to see something or someone else
    that may catch your interest, but
    I was all alone and your eyes never left me.
    My hands shook, without reason.
    I tried to pretend you weren’t there,
    to act normal and hope you’d go away.
    But you inched closer, ever closer,
    eyes roaming everywhere, searching.
    I knew you wouldn’t find whatever it was
    that you were looking for, but still
    you made my skin crawl and my nerves squirm.
    I walked quickly away from you and out the door,
    although I had done nothing to warrant your attention.
    Maybe you were bored that day, or maybe you just
    take your job as store security much too seriously.

  123. Cheryl Wray

    Boy…a tough one! This doesn’t measure up to the others already posted, but here’s my shot at it. (Just thrilled that I did it; LOVING every one of these challenges! Thanks Robert!)


    I’m running,
    running in circles,
    running in place,
    wanting to escape

    from the smell of the perfume (it’s got to be rose) you wear for him,
    from the sound of the lilting song you sing when the door is closed,
    from the reflection in the mirror…candlelight, wine glass, and you.

    It’s becoming more than I can take,
    trapped here in your world,
    everything a reminder of you and him.

    Thank goodness, you’re finally freeing me,
    letting me go…

    as you turn the faucet,
    pull the plug,
    and let me escape … running, finally …down the drain.

  124. Carol -Amherst, Mass

    I love so many of today’s poems. Salvatore, Your raised knife was so good. And Yoli, I don’t know if it was supposed to be funny, but I loved the twist at the end. It did make me laugh. Hope it was supposed to. So so good. You are all awesome poets. – Carol

  125. A.C. Leming

    My hand rounds the
    curve of your ass
    and I knead it firmly,
    stretching out the skin.
    My hand travels lower,
    onto your leg and I
    stroke the hair that
    whorls in a different
    direction, annoying you.
    I move my hands down
    to your foot and rub it,
    spreading toes out and
    glance anxiously at your
    face to gage your
    reaction. Finished,
    I move to your other
    cheek and repeat the
    pattern – as you sigh
    blissfully in pleasure.
    My hands grasp your
    waist and I rub your
    belly, clockwise to
    aid digestion, then
    move my hands up to
    your muscular chest and
    shoulders, marveling at
    your strength. I ruck up
    the hair there, and you
    growl at me, annoyed
    yet again. So I move
    to your other appendages
    and rub them too, before
    rolling you over to start
    on your stiff neck and
    back. You whimper in
    pleasure as I find the exact
    spot that melts under my
    hands as I press down
    firmly. I move my attention
    to your silky ears and
    tease you more, lightly
    rubbing their sensitive
    tips before finishing
    the massage with forehead,
    nose and those sexy jowls.
    You open your eyes and
    gaze at me thankfully
    before giving me a kiss,
    long drooling tongue
    slurping up the side of
    my face. You jump up
    and bark your appreciation
    for that impromptu massage.

  126. Cara Alson

    I’m playing catch-up again, so here’s #15. Not my best effort, but here it is. I love Hitchcock, so maybe I’ll do better on today’s effort.

    Who’s to blame?

    You idiot!

    Now you know why your husband’s family always calls it the “idiot light.” How could you NOT see it? When you get away with your friends on one of these poetry evenings or weekends you seem to wind up having some kind of mishap.

    Remember when you all went to U.C.L.A. for Mary Oliver’s reading? You got bonked on the head by the arm that goes up and down as it lets cars into the parking structure! How on earth did you manage that? You had a nice bruise on your forehead and a lovely lump.

    Now here you are, late at night, heading back to the motel in Carpinteria when you notice the warning light on the dashboard. And you know it’s been on for quite a while, but the indicator is on empty! Not nearly, or almost, but straight on the empty line! You’ve never let it get much below a quarter of a tank. Where can you go – it’s dark on both sides of the freeway and you don’t know your way around, except for the path from the motel to the shopping center and restaurants and the freeway? Is there a triple-A in Santa Barbara?

    So you start coaxing the car, trying to get to the gas station near the motel. “Come on, you can do it. Just get us there. Please? Don’t let us get stranded…”

    Well, the heavens were with you, I guess. You got to the station and the man came out to pump the gas, your hands were shaking so badly. And as you put your wallet away and started the car, the lights went out. You really were lucky, weren’t you? The station was just closing. What would’ve happened…?

    That’s what I told myself.

  127. Carol -Amherst, Mass

    Whoa Rox. Good One. Really had my attention. And the ending. Wow. !!!! – Carol

    Here’s mine.

    "Art on the Line"

    Warm wind
    Birds singing
    My favorite lavender chiffon blouse
    Fluttering in the breeze
    Assorted vibrant colors
    Billowing on the clothesline

    Spring is here,
    Warm days
    Cool nights
    my collage of beautiful colors
    are dry and
    must come down

    Alas, the lavender blouse
    Is gone,
    the wind took it

    Sunday morning
    A new day,
    Brilliant sunshine
    Reflecting off the grass
    And warming the tar driveway
    next door

    There is John, my neighbor
    Jaunting out to
    Retrieve his paper
    He is stunning
    In my lavender chiffon

  128. Monica Martin

    The fire was beautiful.
    It burned with ferocity,
    frightening me a little –
    I didn’t want us to catch.
    You smiled and vowed to
    protect me. We shared
    a glass of red wine as
    we settled down to snuggle
    and watch the fire. You
    kissed my neck and told
    me you love me. I smiled
    and we turned back to the fire.

    Wonder where that snotty witch will live now?

  129. Brittany Butts

    Mom,you told me not to be afraid of the
    You said that you would be there, just in the other
    But the silence, is
    And the air is almost gone and inside I am so
    How can I not be afraid, mom, of this endless, coming
    You are just on the other side of the
    I know this. Unable to protect me now from my irrational
    I hear you
    You cannot stop them now, first one shot, then the
    My eyes close now, there was no pardon from the

  130. k weber

    the abandoned hospital

    sheets cling
    to a bed
    then resist, wave
    in the wind
    as easily
    as fingers
    out the window
    of a car
    on a golden
    long ago

    the dust
    of ages
    will not settle
    as heavy
    a thick
    through a still-
    life of cups
    with milk
    and medication

    the phone
    is unplugged
    in a room
    by a sliver
    of sun
    and a pair
    of shoes
    to walk

    no one
    but a whisper
    as i mouth
    "oh shit"
    and realize
    i desperately need
    to clean
    my room

  131. halfmoon_mollie

    my talk with him was logical
    he made his points and they made sense
    he told me that what happened was
    not my fault
    he hugged me
    and kissed my forehead
    in benediction and forgiveness
    I watched him walk away
    more vivid now
    in death
    than he was
    the last sad year
    of his life

  132. Cathy Sapunor

    I Am Just Not A Party Animal

    When we arrive, Hiro greets his pals, each in coat and tails. They rush excitedly to each other; I am ignored. With a sniff and toss of the head, my date abandons me for a drink.
    It’s awkward standing here alone.
    Just like junior high school mixers.
    But in minutes, I run into Kathy from Curtis Park, and Nancy, and Carlo. We socialize loudly above the din; turns out we’ve got much in common.
    Too soon, Hiro’s had too much. I drag him, howling and whining, to the car.
    He doesn’t want to leave the dog park. Tonight, neither do I.

  133. Liza

    Alone in the House

    I was reading by the window
    while the fan overhead drifted
    slowly by making a small sound
    as it stirred the air

    Suddenly I heard a noise
    as if someone were in the house.
    I knew that everybody had left
    to go to the store to be gone for hours.

    I sounded like a scraping sound
    as if someone had a knife perhaps.
    My imagination must be running away
    with me as I read the scary novel.

    I put down my book to go investigate
    thinking a lot of what ifs
    feeling my throat constrict with fear.
    You must stay calm, I thought.

    As I looked around the corner
    seeing the stairs to the attic,
    I imagined many scenerios of the culprit.
    What would I do when I got there?

    The book wasn’t hefty,
    but maybe my nails woould do.
    I saw an umbrella with a stout end
    as I passed the kitchen.

    I reached out for it
    as I slinked down the hall
    feeling like hours had gone by.
    I was standing at the steps now.

    I heard the scrapping again
    and a screech of some kind.
    What could it be, I wondered.
    I was at the attic door now.

    I reached out my hand,
    swalowing the tension away,
    I took a breath as I slowly
    opened the door part way.

    Inbetween the crack,
    I saw a shadow near the window.
    I also saw the window was open,
    at least partly so.

    I held the unbrella tightly
    as I slowly swung the door
    all the way to find the culprit
    was a cute chipmunk.

  134. Margaret Fieland

    Grass Green

    Green grass grows in the meadow
    between the yellow dandelions
    and white Queen Anne’s Lace.

    Green grass grows beside the stream
    where it runs between the red oaks
    and Douglas Firs.

    Green grass grows along the highway,
    between the triple lanes
    with the cars dashing by.

    Green grass grows along the cement path
    that runs through the cemetary
    to your grave.

    Yellow grass with bare patches
    grows in our front yard.
    It needs water and fertilizer.

  135. Michelle Cooper

    I Drive For Excellence

    I’m very selective in choosing my wheels.
    My wheels must roll and glide smooth with
    a luxurious profile. It is a requirement that
    my chrome sparkles and shines. I like to fill
    it up letting absolutely nothing fall out.

    I like to eat while driving my wheels carefully
    and cautious enough not to waste a drop.
    I like to dress neat while I’m driving so that me
    and my wheels can look collectively complete.

    Oh I don’t dare share, seriously get your own.
    my wheels are very roomy; I like to put stuff
    in the front and I like to put stuff in the back.
    I like to drive over slopes and parking lot
    humps with my perfect wheels never going
    flat or slump.

    Well again, this excellent drive must come to
    an end, so I’ll just return my shopping cart
    until we meet again.

    H. Michelle Cooper

  136. Rox

    Robert – Great prompt, and great poem.

    Nancy – Thanks for the encouraging words!

    Patti – I almost went there, but you did it so much better – it was wonderful.

    Vanessa – I loved it!

    Christa – Perfect.

    Everyone – What amazing work; today’s reading so far has been totally delightful.

  137. Susan M. Bell

    Her Last Rest

    My eyes are blinded by thick, oily
    blackness. Wood creaks with each
    heavy footfall on the cellar stairs.
    The weight of her makes my arms
    ache. Dust is kicked up as I move
    to the far corner, near the pile of coal.
    I can sense the large mass in the dark.
    My vision has not yet adjusted. I feel
    the edge of the hole I dug for her, and
    carefully place her in the ground. I rub
    my arms trying to ease the muscle ache
    and cold chill of the air. Shadows finally
    form as my eyes begin to adjust. I take
    up the shovel and cover her with dirt.
    Tomorrow I will place a stone at the head
    of my friend’s resting place.

    I’ll never hear her lovely bark again.

  138. Marcos Cabrera


    I was sitting at the park after dusk.
    Talking to my friend Jenny on the phone
    while enjoying the coolness of the breeze,
    crawling silently among path and trees
    slowly approaching was a whitish fog.
    We were just friends though we talked about love
    about what we think, about paradise
    and about things of our personal lives
    each one at different ends of the globe.

    She said that soon she’s goint to make a trip
    and that she will come by here to see me.

    It was darker and I needed to go,
    the fog was already close to my side…
    I said something to her about my site
    and she said I have marbles in my thought.
    The call ended, from the bench I got up
    and right then someone touched me on the back
    what a surprise! Jenny was in the park.
    Hello Jenny, what you did with your phone?
    "I do not have one, I left it at home".

  139. Suzanne Poor

    Day 16

    A poem with a twist

    She insisted we cut down the old sweet maple
    afraid that the barren branches would topple
    over on her roof. It was a four- trunked tree
    that had been topped several times;
    its shade producing power diminished.
    But it was a good fence and made a good neighbor.
    Besides all the bad branches had already crashed.
    She insisted.
    At first the tops were severed,
    then the first fat trunk.
    Then the carpenter ants swarmed. We sprayed the rotten hollow.
    Wings withered and fell.
    The remaining trunks, sturdy and solid
    resisted the blade;
    slashes on the diagonal didn’t work either.
    Finally, the grinders came to destroy the stump.
    Even the cats were afraid.
    Suddenly, silence.
    The workers said, “It’s broken. Look.”

    There in the middle of the remaining three trunks
    was solid rock – holding the tree together.

    Suzanne Poor (PoorSue@aol.com Montclair, NJ)

  140. Carol A Stephen

    Pigeon wings

    The number of my days
    fades back in
    the chiaroscuro of memory
    as days roll into
    vaults of the past
    the days to come are fewer
    just when I think
    I have seen the hour
    of my death
    a convenient pigeon
    swoops down
    death’s shadow splinters
    into a thousand shards
    of sunlight and wing-song.

  141. Ang

    The Office

    I got the notice in my inbox
    The boss wants to see me
    Dread engulfs me
    Was it something he overheard?
    Did I not get the forms in on time?
    Has he seen that I was late twice last week?

    He noticed how many files I completed
    Or he heard how I helped Fred with his caseload
    And chaired the canned food drive

    Stomach is in a knot

    The long walk to the office door
    Deep breaths
    Knock and enter

    He heard my cousin could get discount tickets
    He wants two

    Sigh of relief
    Then disappointment
    Neither hot nor cold
    It’s a lukewarm conversation
    Nothing to talk about at lunch

  142. Yoli

    You stand on the sidewalk
    underneath the balcony
    “I just wanna talk!”
    Yelling your apology to the wind
    “I’m sorry, baby, please let me in!”
    “I just wanna talk to you!
    Please! I’ll do whatever you want me to!”
    Sincerity drips from your tone like tears
    but your pleas appear to fall on deaf ears
    I watch from the window undetected.
    Watch you fall to your knees dejected.
    “Please come to the window!” you cry out
    crying the tears of the rejected.
    “Please, just talk to me!” you shout.
    A slumped and huddled mass of despair
    you throw your head back, hands in the air,
    at the top of your voice, on your knees,
    with only one word; “Pleeeeeaaaaase!”
    The sound of it doused with pain
    falls back to the earth and upon us like rain
    soaking into our skin.
    If I had the heart to ease his misery
    I’d call down to him, “The one you’re looking for isn’t in.”

  143. Matthew

    The aliens came today.
    We were surprised
    as they brought us
    a message of peace
    and love and then
    told us how it would happen.

    Our lives were wrong,
    they said.
    We must live like they did
    and then used force to
    show us.
    For your own good they said.
    We want to help
    they said.

    Help from them I cannot
    need or want
    So I held my head high
    and they said it
    would be better if
    I didn’t.

    But I stood against
    and as I saw the crater
    in my chest
    My last words were
    "Go back to Earth."

  144. Heather

    Frequenting the ghetto became my mainstay
    Scoring my daily fix
    Escalated to a feverish pitch

    On a weekly basis
    Praying for something new
    Anything better than the week before
    Would do

    With or without companion
    My chance would come
    Blinds drawn
    Facing the thugs at dawn

    At first I was scared
    Leery of their stares
    Wondering if this would be the day
    I’d not be aware

    And lose myself in the back room
    Lose myself to the sign

    I knew it couldn’t go on
    It was a matter of time

    The raid was in progress
    My hand on the door
    Burning to enter
    And make my score

    The SWAT team was waiting inside
    For people like me
    Willing to buy

    I swear to God it was all I could do not to cry
    To face the music of my
    Sinful desire

    Mercifully, the man said, “We are closed. You’ll not be buying your fake bags here today!!”

  145. Christa R. Shelton


    All eyes are on me
    as I walk across the carpet sashaying
    showing off my keen fashion sense
    and million dollar smile
    Strike a pose,
    Man, if these dressing room mirrors could talk
    they would have some funny stories!

  146. Iain D. Kemp

    Here’s the one I wrote first, after alittle tweak or should I say Twist?

    Watchers (with a cunning plan)

    They survived the dinosaurs
    Them and ferns
    Where they live. No coincidence there.
    And they’re everywhere
    Can’t see‘em most of the time
    Don’t want to any of the time.
    Behind the walls, under the floors
    They lurk unseen for hours
    But when you’re sleeping
    Out they come
    In hordes
    In droves
    In search of you!
    What do you suppose killed
    The dinosaurs in the first place?
    A comet! Oh c’mon, the
    Evidence is clear
    They were there then and they’re still here!
    In my country alone you can’t, daren’t
    Even count them
    One million per person,
    That’s sixty-five million
    And eight eyes each
    Eight million eyes watching
    Each man, women and child
    And no-one knows, no-one sees.
    Some countries have less, I know
    But they’re the vicious ones
    The vanguard sent to test us
    Before the final onslaught, the destruction
    Of Mankind.
    But man is a resourceful race and we
    Just won’t be out matched
    So we are destroying the planet
    Before the Spiders have their fun.

  147. Iain D. Kemp

    This is the second one I’ve written, still not sure about the first, might post it later.

    Wandering Hands

    I slide my hand down your back
    I grope and fumble
    But you remain quiet
    Just giving slightly to my touch

    My sneaky fingers glide around
    Your bottom and I’m fumbling once
    More. But you are passive
    C’mon c’mon, give it to me!

    Finally I’m on my knees
    I drag your leg away
    My hand searching for the
    Treasure you withhold

    I just don’t believe it
    I was sure you’d give it up
    But, sofa, if you haven’t goy my keys
    Then where the hell are they?

  148. Earl Parsons

    Mission Space

    Awakened from a month-long sleep
    With cobwebs still in my brain
    The computer screams, “Asteroid field!”
    And we rush to the controls
    “Left! Down! Right! Watch out!”
    Together we maneuver
    A sigh of relief as we escape
    Near death in space
    Relief was all too soon replace
    By a vision awe inspiring
    The Red Planet in full view
    Our destination near
    “Prepare for descent.”
    The computer calmly announced
    All prepared for a smooth arrival
    Strapped in, hands on controls
    Through the thin atmosphere we slowed
    The landing strip on the horizon
    With a coordinated effort
    We touched down on the numbers
    And lost our brakes!
    Full panic, pull back throttle
    Deploy parachutes
    Reverse engine
    And pray for mercy
    As the runway disappears
    Into a bank of snow and ice
    Tail down and full stop
    That was close
    The ice and snow gave way
    We tipped forward to see
    A thousand foot drop to a deadly end
    “No one move!” the commander bellowed
    And we stopped
    Full forward and pointing down
    Then the tail weight took over
    And back to level we slammed
    Tail down and full stop again
    This time for real
    “Man, that was close!” the engineer exclaimed
    “Good job, crew!” the tower commander said
    “Mission accomplished. Welcome to Mars.”
    Then the control panel moved forward
    The side door opened
    And the attendant ushered us out of the cockpit
    “Follow the arrows to the exit.” she instructed.
    “Can we go on that ride again?” my daughter asked
    “I just love Mission Space!”

  149. Marin

    My first poem on this site — that’s for the head’s up, Lisa.

    At Night They Writhe

    They contort and writhe
    and climb my dark wall;
    I hear them at night
    when the cars pass me by,
    and the headlights glimmer
    over my peach painted room.

    They clatter and coil
    beneath my stern window pane;
    Threatening with a hiss
    in the deep hollow of dark –
    When the moon rises high
    and sends out its gloom.

    These meandering beings
    that bend through the night;
    The breathy wind carries
    their clamoring sighs, and
    they grow in my dreams,
    and I hear when they slither;
    Like the dark asps they are.

    My throat tightens and
    I stifle a choke, and I see
    their shadows rise through
    the tumult of sinister dark.

    Then the dark turns to radiance
    and in the brightness of day,
    shadows retreat and are once again
    merely vines on my wall.

  150. Maureen


    It’s cold here
    I miss you
    I think about you –
    wondering how you are
    what you’re doing.
    I wish I was there with you.
    If it hadn’t been for that drunk driver
    going through that stop sign
    we would be together now
    living out all those plans we made.
    The accident sure was horrific
    I remember police, ambulances, sirens
    then the hospital
    so strange, unreal.
    But there’s no going back
    and I have to say goodbye to you now.
    I just want you to know how much I loved you.
    You meant the world to me.
    Please get on with your life
    and accept that I really am dead.


  151. Khara House

    You Don’t Bring Me Flowers

    You don’t bring me flowers
    Anymore. The ones you left are always,
    Always dry. You don’t make me laugh.
    You took off your shoes. You
    Don’t write me love songs
    On your kazoo.
    You don’t fill my heart with music
    Like breath into balloons. You don’t run
    In circles like you used to.
    You don’t come around anymore.
    And it’s my own fault—
    Because I warned you I’d die
    If you clowned yourself. But
    What I really meant was:

  152. Vanessa O'Dwyer


    Some people do it every day.
    Some do it not at all.
    My aunt she does it all the time,
    Some do it near the wall.

    Some friends of mine, they shut their eyes.
    Some friends they say don’t worry.
    Some friends tell me it’s not so bad,
    Just do it in a hurry.

    My Gramma did it day by day
    A hundred times moreover.
    My mother did it only when
    Her family would come over.

    I feel naughty, though, to do it not,
    Shame cast upon my head.
    For I kick myself come evening time,
    When I’ve not made my bed.

  153. patti williams


    My friend Jack
    He’s such a good listener.
    Every evening he lets me get things off my chest,
    Get the hurt out in the open.

    He’s always quiet at first
    But then after a few drinks
    He starts loosing up.
    He talks a little at first,
    But by evenings end,
    When the bottle’s almost gone,
    He’s said it all.

    We’ve usually discussed my problems
    As well as global warming,
    World hunger,
    Why people can’t just get along anymore.

    Yeah, that Jack Daniels,
    He’s a good one alright,
    He’s as loyal as they come.

    Cheers to ya Jack …

  154. Connie

    Christmas Morning at My House

    How long will Justin and Vanessa sleep in?
    Justin’s my early riser about seven.
    Vanessa the sleepy head sleeps
    In till nine or ten.
    But the excitement might
    wake them earlier this morning.
    I’m eager to see Justin’s face
    when he opens up his
    New Fisher Price pull toys.
    And Vanessa when she opens
    up her picture books and stuffed animals.
    They finally get up and after breakfast,
    which is more like brunch,
    with grunts and squeals, Justin, age 37, opens his toys.
    And Vanessa, 48, laughs in delight at her new teddy bear.

  155. Salvatore Buttaci


    Driven like a madman, I raise the knife.
    I have waited too long in this miserable life
    To say no to this evening desire. My wife
    Sits beside me, smug and so clever.
    Does she have a clue? I would say never
    Could my lovely Rebecca dare sever
    From me the joy I’ll encounter
    When this knife that I hold is buried in flesh
    And I slice away skin in a fine kind of mesh,
    Not caring if I come out looking a wretch.
    Down along the silver blade the blood will seep.
    Tonight in bed, satisfied, I will welcome sleep.
    Then my wife reminds me,
    “Let’s say grace. Your steak will keep.

    © 2008 Salvatore Buttaci

  156. Chris Granholm Jr.

    "My Precious Angel"

    The pillow still holds your scent
    I can close my eyes
    and feel the heat from your side of the bed
    I spy a strand of your beautiful brown hair
    and I can almost imagine
    your soft doe eyes
    looking back at me

    Why did I have to kill you last night?

  157. Lisa McMahan

    #16 It’s Just Me

    Standing here looking at you
    wondering who you are,
    and what you want,
    why are you here?
    Are you lost,
    searching for a path to follow,
    seeking direction?
    Are you hiding,
    from whom,
    Talk to me,
    tell me who you are.

    Look in the mirror and you will see
    …………….it’s just me.

  158. Nancy


    Roommate willing to share the rent,
    the bills, the responsibility; to
    put the dishes in the dishwasher,
    not the sink; to fold socks together,
    rathering than ranting when one
    disappears somewhere between
    the closet floor and the laundry room.

    Said person should be willing to
    share the remote control, ESPN
    balanced with the Food Network,
    to carry on conversations
    when required, to keep your thoughts
    to yourself at all other time,
    and to know the difference between the two.

    Since the place is already furnished,
    you won’t need to bring anything
    but your own clothes, your own books,
    and, of course, your car.
    I’m taking mine when I leave this place.
    If he asks, just tell him I sent you.

  159. Rox


    I despise open casket funerals –
    Such a horrible way to say goodbye
    But I had to come.

    I arrive early
    Trying to prepare myself.
    Silent tears streak my pale face
    As I walk up the aisle
    Shaking my head at the pink casket.
    Someone’s idea of a joke
    Or “thrift”.

    The cloying air
    Heavy with conflicting scents
    Of flowers in the thousands;
    I feel as if I’m
    Walking on the bottom of a pool.

    Eventually I stand
    Eyes downcast
    Unable to look;
    Pause a moment
    In silent prayer
    And take my place within.

  160. Debra Elliott

    The Darkest Hour

    The darkest hour of my day,
    is when you went away.
    You left the comfort of my arms,
    you fell for another’s wit and charms.

    You would not stay,
    our vows you could not obey.
    You said good-bye to me my dear,
    you didn’t look back to see my fear.

    The darkest hour of my day,
    is putting you in the ground today.
    You came back to me with a bullet in the head,
    you came back to me dead.

  161. Renee Goularte


    It is because I think I am invincible,
    impervious to the mundane
    trials that overtake the ordinary,
    because I declare in late night musings,
    wined and incensed, that I am able
    to direct every note,

    that I am humbled by the sudden
    realization that even I can be
    overpowered by random whims of
    the sarcoma god, who makes its plan
    to kidnap my companion.

    She comforts me, as the dying will,
    with strict obedience to daily ritual:
    her lazy stretch in the first triangle
    of morning sun on the carpet,
    under the wooden rocker.

  162. Don Swearingen

    The Song of the Word Wranglers During the Current Crisis

    Oh Muse! Are you still alive and we don’t know?
    Where are you hiding? Oh! I can’t think!
    Oh Muse! Return to us, re-ignite the glow!

    Since you’ve been gone, it’s been so slow,
    Our thoughts are rat tails instead of mink
    Oh Muse! Are you still alive and we don’t know?

    Instead of turkey, we get crow,
    Our words don’t soar, they just go clink,
    Oh Muse! Return to us, re-ignite the glow!

    We hope for you, to destroy your foe,
    Writer’s block that dirty fink!
    Oh Muse! Are you still alive and we don’t know?

    Our words drip out, drip out so slow,
    And then they slowly droop and sink.
    Oh Muse! Return to us, re-ignite the glow!

    No jewels, just rocks that just won’t flow,
    Did you really steal off to Swink?
    Oh Muse! Are you still alive and we don’t know?
    Oh Muse! Return to us, re-ignite the glow!

    Wow! I’m first today! Whee!

  163. Aaron Fagan


    My cellular phone rang.
    A child was on the other
    End asking, "Who is it?"

    (Is "on the other end"
    Even how you describe
    A cell connection?)

    A digression, yes.
    But you see I kept saying,
    "Aaron, this is Aaron."

    And the child (Too young
    To tell whether it was a boy
    Or a girl) repeated, "Who is it?"

    Each time the voice calmer
    Than the last as my madness
    Grew up and out from nowhere.

    The unknown child had already
    Mastered a tone of voice
    I remember from my childhood—

    When the answer I gave
    To a question was not
    An answer the asker was after.

    But bless the child, I wept
    In my hands, doubting
    My name and the setting sun.

    Then Mara called through, asking,
    "Guess what?! Guess what?!"
    Milo, her runaway dog had come home.