WD Poetic Form Challenge: The Bop

What better way to follow up The Big 10 challenge than with The Bop!

This form, developed by Afaa Michael Weaver, incorporates several elements, including a refrain, problems, resolutions, and more. Click here to learn how to write The Bop.

As in
previous challenges, the poet who writes The Bop that I like best will be
featured in a future issue of Writer’s
Digest
magazine (most likely the October issue). Poets should
paste their poems in the comments below; I will not accept submissions by any
other means–or attached to any other posts.

Click
here to read the general rules for the WD Poetic Form
Challenge
.

The deadline for The Bop challenge is May 30,
2011, at 11:59 p.m. (Atlanta, GA time).
That means you have roughly 18 days to bop away. Now get poeming!

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94 thoughts on “WD Poetic Form Challenge: The Bop

  1. Miskmask

    Robert, I’ve tweaked my Bop, and I hope you’ll reconsider this version above my previously posted one. Thanks! 🙂

    REVELATIONS IN A PENCIL

    A yellow stick of lead swaddled by her fingers,
    creative flow dependant on a mitred rubber tip,
    a faithful friend, a nub smudging depths, digging
    and discovering, uncovering abstractions
    that masquerade as memories, recollections
    waltzing about in pretty pairs as facts. That’s why

    her pencil is a confessional.

    And there you’ll see in the muddled distance
    twinkling stars burning like brassy embers
    and a girl smothering their light with a flurry of
    wishes. She also believes that wishes hide
    in the smouldering wick of a candle, that they
    reveal themselves only on birthdays. She puffs
    away at the flickering flame, her efforts
    a hurricane’s fury fuelling her hopes. That’s why

    her pencil is a confessional.

    And while other children race after their kites
    spiralling through air and reaching for clouds,
    she tugs and she drags her memories aloft
    in a dirigible attached to the strings of her heart.
    Those fanciful notions, they said, so preposterous
    now speak with a voice through her yellow pencil. That’s why

    her pencil is a confessional.

  2. Nancy Posey

    For Better or for Worse

    She wasn’t sure when the jazz turned into blues,
    but when she found the house too quiet, too sad,
    with just the two of them, filled with everything
    they’d thought they craved, they rattled around
    within four walls, avoiding bumping into one
    another, passing too close in the halls.

    But she had vowed for better or for worse.

    He struck a course of laissez-faire, content
    with status quo. She alternated back and forth
    between avoidance and confrontation, between
    the path of least resistance and full-frontal love.
    She tried seduction, gourmet cooking, self-help
    books and sexy lingerie, but he took naps, watched
    hours and hours of TV and she took weekend trips
    with girlfriends, long cold showers, Prozac.

    But she had vowed for better or for worse.

    She finally convinced herself, I can’t change him;
    I’ll work on me. Right then she made her mind up:
    no self-pity, no humiliation, groveling, sneaking
    around, looking for evidence of God-knows-what.
    Relying on her mind—what first drew him to her–
    she simply loved him, kept on loving, waiting. After all,

    She had vowed for better or for worse.

  3. MiskMask

    REVELATIONS IN A PENCIL

    A yellow stick of lead swaddled by her fingers,
    creative flow dependant on a mitred rubber tip,
    a faithful friend, a nub smudging depths, digging
    and discovering, uncovering abstractions
    that masquerade as memories, recollections
    waltzing about in pretty pairs as facts.

    Her pencil is a confessional.

    And there you’ll see in the muddled distance
    twinkling stars burning like brassy embers
    and a girl smothering their light with a flurry of
    wishes. She knows that wishes don’t hide
    in the wick of a smoking candle, revealing
    themselves only on birthdays and yet she puffs
    away at the flickering flame, her efforts
    a hurricane’s fury pummelling her hopes.

    Her pencil is a confessional.

    And while other children race after their kites
    spiralling through air and reaching for clouds,
    she tugs and she drags her memories aloft
    in a dirigible attached to the strings of her heart.
    Those fanciful notions, they said, so preposterous
    now speak with a voice through her yellow pencil.

    Her pencil is a confessional.

  4. Jacqueline Hallenbeck

    Writer’s Block

    in this neighborhood, poems don’t show their face
    even if you write in lower case, invent a form
    or clad yourself in naughty underwear, they are too scared
    like wimpy vampires, they shy away from the light of day
    don’t bother knocking on their doors
    like closeted whores, they refuse to come out

    paper balls indeed

    what made inspiration run out on you?
    you, the jilted lover, the dumpee, starving for poetry
    infertile fingers stuck in 9-to-5
    half alive with a dozen ideas that won’t make the page
    an outrage, really
    like frightened children, poems back away from you
    triolets, sonnets, haikus
    play an exhausting game of hide and go seek

    paper balls indeed

    go on a donkey ride from New York to Brazil
    take a poetry pill
    un-wrinkle your brain and retrieve the ideas that you tossed
    recycle your thoughts
    chances are you will end up with
    a basketful of poems

    paper balls indeed

    (c) jh 5/15/11

    I liked this phrase "paper balls" since I saw Robert’s poem a while back, and I wanted to write a piece on it. I like saying it out loud too. I’m a dork. =)

  5. M.A. Dobson

    THE RING
    As she slept, dreaming of porcupine quills re-
    placing her hair, sprouting from her face and neck,
    the ring she had taken from her finger that day
    (she kept meaning to have it resized)
    and left by the side of the pool near her shoes
    so she wouldn’t lose it, remained where it was.

    The things out of place are merely where they are.
    Of encounters with porcupines there was but one
    and it was many years ago, although
    it came to her in early snow: she was
    on top of the mountain, last run of the day,
    when the spiny creature shuffled from the trees.
    They were alone in a quiet that was dream-
    like, her skis catching an intractable edge
    that brought her to a half-light thick of woods.

    The things out of place are merely where they are.
    In the morning, running her hands over
    her smooth crown, still with its strange phantom feel,
    she remembered her hair as she remembered
    the ring (taking it off and putting it down),
    not with alarm or distress but relief
    that it was hers, even lost, even shorn.

    The things out of place are merely where they are.

  6. Daniel Ari

    "Wool coat with briers"

    Pick up a shovel. Put it down for a cigarette.
    Fuel the car at dawn, and it sits until sunset.
    You see me trying in the hailstorm of million-
    dollar ideas to build the zigzag south wall
    of my mausoleum. But the blackberries are ripe.
    It’s tongue versus thorn as shadows grow wide.

    I got some hitches in my giddyup.

    You say you’ve noticed. When I barked
    in your ear, just playing. When I dropped
    eggs from the top of the grocery list.
    When I left off gathering fire kindling
    to spend the day looking into the river, then
    tried to explain as you huddled under the covers
    why I had to look into the river, tried to talk you
    from your isolated cuddle, and got us both bluer.

    I got some hitches in my giddyup.

    All my back and forth. All these waves.
    If I could just make the third U-turn on my way
    without laying on the horn, pounding the wheel,
    and just say, “Even rivers and vines and hills
    flip youies.” This is the fabric I’ve got to wear.
    Cozy old coat with the occasional brier.

    I got some hitches in my giddyup.

    DA

  7. M.A. Dobson

    Thanks, Melissa; I work on a Mac using Word. I’ll try typing it in directly as you suggest, once it’s revised, if it ever comes together. Not quite boppin’ yet.

  8. Dare Gaither

    Melissa,
    Have you tried manually inserting a non-breaking space
    for each blank space you need? I use Open Office software
    (from http://www.openoffice.org) and to insert a non-breaking space
    I just type Ctrl+Shift+Space for each blank space I need:

                             Like This                       Then This
                                                and This

    I hope you can find a way to make it work…concrete is fun!

  9. Laurie Kolp

    Breaking through Curtain Walls

    Hands of peaks and valleys pale
    slushy feet long for grass and sun.
    A whirlybird in a swivel chair,
    its sweaty seat like chewed-up gum.
    I talk, no snaps; furry ears perk up.
    I am alone, I want to run.

    Isolation is the wall I’ve built.

    As a child I spent lonely sprees
    safe within my castle door. Yellow
    curtains offered sunshine, bright
    comfort. Crisp and clean tranquility
    when all around was war. Branching
    out I tripped on roots time and
    time again. Like a ricochet I shied
    away, dying with each backwards step.

    Isolation is the wall I’ve built.

    I drank and ate and sexed myself,
    eroding secrets termites to my soul.
    Until I raised my arms, asked for help.
    Levitating pesky ghosts, letting go–
    no longer fueled by fear. Now when left
    all by myself, my God is with me near.

    Isolation is the wall I’ve built.

  10. rmpWritings

    ____
    stranded

    just because the tide has left us
    high and dry on muddy sand
    we are far from stranded
    the water is only 50 meters out
    we can push the boat that far
    I can push the boat that far

    "we’re stranded," he says.

    seriously, look there’s another boat
    right out there on the waters
    and yet another with people aboard
    it is easy enough to pull up the anchor
    worse comes to worse
    we could abandon our vessel
    swim our way out to join the others
    i am sure they would take us on

    "we’re stranded," he says.

    stepping forward i shake my head at his persistence
    his hand reaches out resting on my arm
    he turns me to meet his intense mischievous gaze
    his unspoken words ring loudly in his eyes
    i glance back at the anchor then smiling
    turn to get lost in the murky waters of his eyes

    "we’re stranded," i say.
    ____
    for more on the inspiration behind this poem, check out the Original Post.
    ____

  11. Dare Gaither

    Coming Together

    Their words stand at my front door
    dressed in business suits,
    polished shoes squeaking as they wait.
    I peek through the window
    wondering who they are
    carefully unlatching my lock.

    Understanding runs barefoot
    chasing butterflies in the sun

    Briefcases open,
    they show their wares.
    I search through my basket
    seeking symbols that match.
    Narrowed eyes question
    hidden meanings.
    Fear magnifies
    the space between us.

    Understanding runs barefoot
    chasing butterflies in the sun

    Laughter floats on a breeze
    through the back window.
    Leaving briefcases and baskets,
    together we look outside.
    Sipping lemonade on the back porch,
    we share the scent of lavender.

    Understanding runs barefoot
    chasing butterflies in the sun

  12. Patricia A. Hawkenson

    If You Close Your Eyes, it’s Gone

    At first it was all I thought of
    the urge to pick the scab
    to finger its crusting edge
    to tear the skin to smooth
    my hands were drawn to the scar
    a magnet to its mate.

    Leave it alone to heal.

    Each morning the blood new
    the pain sharply awakened
    the lesion growing larger
    the pain no less intense
    so I look for distractions
    obstacles to my thinking
    piles of paper to sift
    instead of picking skin.

    Leave it alone to heal.

    Until a child asks bluntly
    “What’s that on your face?”
    I come up with some lame excuse
    some fairy tale meant to suffice
    with truth and fiction blurring
    through ivory make up.

    Leave it alone to heal.

  13. Claudia Coutu Radmore

    Another draft:

    the most important signs of spring

    like children we want to know. why. what for. a
    cat prowls the yard waiting. sprawls on the deck.
    a groundhog climbs into a flowerpot unexpectedly coming
    face to face with the tom. why does the groundhog back away.
    what is a cat for. how does the groundhog know what the cat
    is for. is it for unexpectedness. is it for anything.

    please explain: what is a screwdriver for? what is a cat for?

    and although outside it is warm and the forecast
    says 28 degrees there is a greyness in the air that
    matches this small grey-and-white cat calmly sitting,
    calmly watching perhaps for the groundhog or for the
    most important sign of spring for a cat: the sound
    of parent birds flitting to the nest and small
    cries of hunger. music to a cat’s ears, the waiting,
    accepting the unexpected, anticipating the expected.

    please explain: what is a screwdriver for? what is a cat for?

    there is little reason this cat exists. an accident of nature
    a cell taken in to the DNA of an organism which changed
    that organism forever. it did not become tiger, it did not
    become puma. remained small. smaller than most groundhogs.
    the reason for a screwdriver is clear. the reason for cat
    is not. a turn or twist in thinking. but what is a thought for.

    please explain: what is a screwdriver for? what is a cat for?

  14. M.A. Dobson

    Hey all, I can’t seem to paste in my poem without the spacing getting all weird; is there a trick to it? I had the same trouble last month, and finally decided to forget about stanzas. But the Bop needs its Bops and I can’t figure out how to work it. Any help would be appreciated! Probably good that I couldn’t post tonight as my Bop needs some Shop! :-]

  15. Marian O'Brien Paul

    Elderly Woman Needing Rescue

    Exhausted, I try to ease aching joints,
    settling grocery bags on the sidewalk,
    pressing my spine against the spokes
    of the iron fence between the bus stop
    and a parking lot for those fortunate,
    or unfortunate, enough to own a car.

    If I can just get home and raise my feet . . .

    On a chill May wind, wan smoke drifts
    along the street. My eyes find no origin.
    My jacket collar, a futile barrier against
    the sudden cold; my hunched shoulders
    fuel no warmth. Again the opaque cloud
    seeps above asphalt and retreats. Like
    fog, my tired brain thinks, my recognition
    slow. My bones need an empty bus seat.

    If I can just get home and raise my feet . . .

    I shift my weight against the ache, eyes
    on the viaduct from which a Number 6
    double-long bus must emerge, bending
    its accordion shape for the sharp curve
    before lumbering to a lurching stop, this
    mythical beast finally come to rescue me.

    If I can just get home, and raise my feet . . .

  16. Jacqueline Hallenbeck

    re-named…

    friend-ship

    sticks and stones may break my bones
    but a good surgeon can put me back together
    your damaging words, on the other hand,
    are like falling icicles after a winter storm
    revealing an ice-coated heart
    that no sun can warm

    this friend-ship has sunk

    i remember you in corners
    you and your gobble-gobble friends
    spreading gossip like germs
    you would think hygiene would be in your genes
    gossip makes ugly of the pretty too
    wasted years on you
    my feet often sore from walking down
    the same narrow street

    this friend-ship has sunk

    recovery efforts have all proved fruitless
    like a casualty of war, I lower my head in defeat
    so much rain has fallen since
    blame the pain on my osteopenic bones
    and my paper thick skin
    civility is all that’s left

    this friend-ship has sunk

    (c) 5/14/11

  17. Jacqueline Hallenbeck

    namesake

    sticks and stones may break my bones
    but a good surgeon can put me back together
    your damaging words, on the other hand,
    are like falling icicles after a winter storm
    revealing an ice-coated heart
    that no sun can warm

    this friend-ship has sunk

    i remember you in corners
    you and your gobble-gobble friends
    spreading gossip like germs
    you would think hygiene would be in your genes
    gossip makes ugly of the pretty too
    wasted years on you
    my feet often sore from walking down
    the same narrow street

    this friend-ship has sunk

    recovery efforts have all proved fruitless
    like a casualty of war, I lower my head in defeat
    so much rain has fallen since
    blame the pain on my osteopenic bones
    and my paper thick skin
    civility is all that’s left

    this friend-ship has sunk

  18. Rose Anna Hines

    What an interesting new form. This site is certainly
    S—t—-r–e——t–c—h——ing me.

    Here’s my first attempt
    maybe I’ll get to a second.

    PRO GRAS TINATION

    Facing the mean monster
    the foreboding taunting task
    retreat to the familiar,
    the easy, repetitive hypnotic movement
    the thing you know you can do
    so you don’t plummet and fracture your face

    Hold on to the soft blanket
    Suckle on supple safe breast
    Don’t walk, run, dance, explore, jump
    Crawl in unbroken certain loop

    The child once curious
    laughed with giggles at each surprise
    Inquisitive taste buds explored
    all eyes could see and hands could touch.
    Probing mind pried open every crevice
    Until scared parents yelled,
    "NO"
    "Don’t you might get hurt"

    Hold on to the soft blanket
    Suckle on supple safe breast
    Don’t walk, run, dance, explore, jump
    Crawl in unbroken certain loop

    The Merry-go-round
    has animals frozen in time
    they never bite
    Movement goes soothingly up and down in constant circle
    Nursery Rhyme lullaby music
    Perhaps tomorrow, I will venture out to try, It’s a Small World

    Hold on to the soft blanket
    Suckle on supple safe breast
    Don’t walk, run, dance, explore, jump
    Crawl in unbroken certain loop

  19. Melissa Hager

    Amen, Connie! Well said!

    And Vivienne, I’m glad I’m not the only one to suffer bad tea! The water really does make a difference. I actually make it in a large pot, not a mug. I serve it iced.

  20. Connie L. Peters

    When All Else Fails

    So much insanity in the world.
    Wars, crime, abuse, poverty.
    Questions arise: what’s real, what’s worth fighting for?
    Who’s right? Who’s wrong? Does it even matter?
    Are you wrong for believing in right?
    Shall we all just give up and hide?

    When all else fails, love God and others.

    So much confusion
    about how to handle life’s problems.
    Ah, we all mean well but…
    so we fight and demand and isolate and ignore
    and condescend, and minimize and quash and quail
    and we grab what we can while we’re here.
    And maybe we’ll remember our humanity
    and toss a few crumbs, a few coins, a few answers.

    When all else fails, love God and others.

    God simplified living into ten commandments.
    But even that’s hard to put into practice.
    So He sent His Son as an example,
    who simplified the ten even further.
    Those who don’t believe in God
    can still focus on the loving others part.

    When all else fails, love God and others.

  21. vivienne blake

    Melissa Hager, I sympathised with your libation poem: every time we’ve moved house (a lot) we’ve had to change the brand of tea to suit the local water. It also helps to brew it in a teapot rather than a mug.

  22. Claudia Coutu Radmore

    the most important signs of spring

    like children we want to know. why. what for. a
    cat prowls the yard waiting. sprawls on the deck.
    a groundhog climbs into a flowerpot unexpectedly coming
    face to face with the tom. why does the groundhog back away.
    what is a cat for. how does the groundhog know what the cat
    is for. is it for unexpectedness. is it for anything.

    please explain: what is a screwdriver for? what is a cat for?

    and although outside it is warm and the forecast
    says 28 degrees there is a grayness in the air that
    matches this small grey-and-white cat calmly sitting
    calmly watching for the groundhog or for the
    most important sign of spring: for a cat the sound
    of parent birds flitting to the nest and small
    cries of hunger. music to a cat’s ears, the waiting,
    accepting the unexpected, anticipating the expected.

    please explain: what is a screwdriver for? what is a cat for?

    there is little reason this cat exists. an accident of nature
    a cell taken in to the DNA of an organism which changed
    that organism forever. it did not become tiger, it did not
    become puma. it remained small. small as most groundhogs.
    the reason for a screwdriver is clear. the reason for cat
    is not. a turn or twist in thinking. but what is a thought for

    please explain: what is a screwdriver for? what is a cat for?

  23. Chuck Puckett

    Thinking Really Doesn’t

    Just because we are talking
    Doesn’t mean we understand
    Just because our mouths are moving
    Doesn’t mean we give a damn
    Just because you think you know me
    Don’t mean you know who I am
    Thinking really doesn’t make it so

    Just in time I hear you crying
    So I pull my hanky out
    I can wipe your tears away
    Before you concrete up your doubt
    Tears are kind of like a lubricant
    They’re better than any word
    They’ll make me think I’ve been reprieved
    Though I know that that’s absurd
    Thinking really doesn’t make it so

    I guess we could pretend we know
    What each of us has sought
    That’s better than ignoring all
    The signs that we’ve been taught
    I’d rather have your heart in mine
    Than some empty, distant thought.
    Thinking really doesn’t make it so

    © 2011 Chuck Puckett

  24. Tara Tyler

    You get sooooo many responses! How do you choose?
    Here is my little offer:

    Life’s Not Fair

    I have to move a million miles.
    My dad finally got a job.
    My mom said it won’t be so bad,
    But I hear her crying at night.
    My dog can’t even come with us.
    I don’t want to move away.

    Why can’t things stay the same?

    A new neighborhood.
    A new school and new rules.
    So many questions and worries.
    What will the kids be like?
    Will they be nice? Will they like me?
    Will I like them?
    I have friends. I don’t need new ones.
    Life is so unfair.

    Why can’t things stay the same?

    My best friend reminds me
    Of when we first met.
    How she was once the new kid.
    She felt the same as I do now.
    Then I came over and showed her around.
    She says I’ll find someone there like me.

    Why can’t things stay the same?

  25. Mike Bayles

    Waiting for the Rain

    Every rising sun
    brings the relentless sun
    passing overhead
    over wisps of clouds
    never enough
    to bring the rain

    while I hope for a change in weather.

    Crops wither in despair
    in parched soil
    every day drier
    dried by sun and arid winds
    unforgiving
    causing grief
    when every day
    I seek relief

    while I hope for a change in weather.

    Dark clouds threaten
    but give rise to hopes
    of “Can it be, can it be?”
    A downpour comes,
    as if nature cries for itself,
    an answer divine

    while I hope for a change in weather.

  26. Mike Bayles

    Waiting for the Rain

    Every rising sun
    brings the relentless sun
    passing overhead
    over wisps of clouds
    never enough
    to bring the rain

    while I hope for a change in weather.

    Crops wither in despair
    in parched soil
    every day drier
    dried by sun and arid winds
    unforgiving
    causing grief
    when every day
    I seek relief

    when I hope for a change in weather.

    Dark clouds threaten
    but give rise to hopes
    of “Can it be, can it be?”
    A downpour comes,
    as if nature cries for itself,
    an answer divine,

    when I hope for a change in weather.

  27. Rachel Green

    Cousin Gaynor

    The wedding album is available online
    for guests to peruse
    and choose a shot or two to remember how fine
    the day or a nice one of themselves
    that shows them at their best
    the rest they put aside.

    Another time. Another place. I know your name
    but I don’t recall your face.

    Aunt Ada’s sixtieth. You were there as well.
    A fading bruise
    was news to me but then I rarely talk to folk. I tell
    you of my latest book –
    I got the cover art today
    I say but I can see
    you’re just being polite.
    Perhaps you’re right.

    Another time. Another place. I know your name
    but I don’t recall your face.

    Wet met a final time when Jimmy died.
    He was an uncle
    on my mother’s I hadn’t seen for years. I cried
    enough to give good grace
    and took a photograph of you
    and did a tin-hat image search
    to match the name I knew from long ago
    when I was just a child. You know.

    Another time. Another place. I know your name
    but I don’t recall your face.

  28. Jacob delaRosa

    Recovery

    I say it with my tense shirking shoulders
    While my coarse tongue softly arches backwards
    Rubbing the top of my tired palet raw.
    She hears it with a knowing eye, stone cold
    Surprised then accepting what has been chained
    Called tame, and left to fester in plain sight.

    Should I not be the last to die, what then?

    Both my father and my mother’s father
    Lived when the plague of this land was virile
    Somehow they survived, their cells now sickled
    And I, with the same sickness am weary
    Immune, but mutated and anemic.
    Oh how I would gladly bleed myself dry
    To know the end of days, but this I fear:
    Will it take another four-hundred years?

    Should I not be the last to die, what then?

    Perhaps there is no scalpal sharp enough
    But we cannot leave well enough alone
    When the past shows well enough left alone
    Can grow wheels and take us all for a ride.
    We’ve seen the road it follows, bleak and grim
    And most of us have gotten off, but still,

    Should I not be the last to die, what then?

  29. Walt Wojtanik

    UNIMCUMBERED SLUMBER

    The weather forecast delivers as predicted;
    a wicked downpour, torrential and damaging.
    All the while, I keep managing to sleep.
    It is a deep doze, nearly comatose is my brain
    as the rain continues. It appreas she brought friends.
    The lightning flashes and the rumbles never end.

    Thunder rattles my windows, but it does not disturb my slumber.

    Oddly, insomnia escapes me when the rains came.
    The same can be said of my apnea, I wonder
    if the hum of the thunder plays into my slumber?
    Does the electricity cause static that makes it cling
    within the ring of its timpani; a "drum" laden symphony
    that pacifies my eyes allowing them to not be breached?
    Does the lightning beseech my heart to remain still
    until the thrill of thunder’s wonder subsides?

    Thunder rattles my windows, but it does not disturb my slumber

    and therein lies my answer. Is it right every night
    to pray for the rain that offers my tired strain a respite?
    For the hypnotic roll takes full control as I lay in a heap,
    awash in dream filled sleep, unfettered and undisturbed.
    But, the silence of the night supplies a fright that says I will lay here,
    awake all night. It is then, the forecasters call for rain with thunder.

    Thunder rattles my windows, but it does not disturb my slumber.

  30. Melissa Hager

    "A Fine Libation"

    My tea used to get compared to Grandmas’
    On both sides of our family
    Black as coal and sweet as honey
    Then, a new house, new water with iron
    So heavy it gave the skillet a run for its money
    – Tea wasn’t good anymore

    Treat a batch of tea right and
    You’ll have a fine libation

    Whole house filter changed twice a month
    A filter on the kitchen sink
    Boiled it longer, reduced the sugar
    Boiled it less, added more sugar
    With a bit of honey to boot
    Glass containers, Koolaid plastic pitchers (yuck!)
    Stirred with wooden spoon and then metallic
    Nothing could revive my liquid gold

    Treat a batch of tea right and
    You’ll have a fine libation

    Carefully steeped with the right amount of sweet
    Praying for tea one could stand
    Mother’s Day had me scampering for a container
    When on a crystal pitcher my eyes did land
    Transferring the liquid into its fancy new digs
    I knew it would be a sensation

    Treat a batch of tea right and
    You’ll have a fine libation

  31. Shannon Lockard

    Bop: Childhood Lost

    Hiding beneath the blankets
    waiting for night to pass
    by counting footsteps, counting breaths, counting creaks,
    sounds of stairs being traversed
    just in case it wasn’t the last time
    he entered her room without permission.

    A childhood lost in one night.

    Small fingers clenched around
    the bat by her side, concealed,
    she’s ready to strike if she needs to.
    Moon eyes glowing in the dark
    dreading an eclipse; not ready to endure
    the shadows creeping in the night.
    Hoping for the sun to rise and
    erase the cold with its warmth.

    A childhood lost in one night.

    Sleepless nights lead to daylight determination
    to escape, evade, break away.
    Befriending anyone who has a place she can stay.
    She waits for the years to pass
    by counting months, counting days, counting hours,
    sounds of the sun rising on her freedom.

    A childhood lost in one night.

  32. Cameron Steele

    According to women, when to use knives

    Women got to know when to use knives, when to slip metal
    through their common-law men, metal words will do but knives
    work best when he come home too late too wet,
    those beggar eyes, yes, slippery lips, he is speaking without words
    clutching at house keys, glass bottle against thigh and groin
    and her in her tee-shirt, common and cold, and clutching at – what?

    what newspapers leave out.

    What I got? These women wanna know, words clicking down throats,
    snapped off by sore molars, three a.m. cigarettes, cigars if he left ’em,
    if he did, he come home, call her baby – thief – bitch –
    Close them wolf eyes, men always do. Didn’t he get worlds?
    Life with a girl who smile when she told, when she ain’t.
    She stays with him when bud’s got him against the walls and the law.
    What I got but a man? She know, she know. Left without words
    and his words without love but that’s

    what newspapers leave out.

    Woman in kitchen, man is dead.
    Morning headlines, a day, two, three later.
    The official report they think they got, and her mug
    shot: wide, dog eyes, cigarette lips.
    Woman of women who know what they got, words
    refuse to forget – on slippery nights they cure what common cold,

    but newspapers leave out.

  33. Kris K

    Will Someone Be There

    Out playing in the field, in a hole, he slipped
    Deep, down, falling, dark in the crypt
    Lost and alone, too startled for fear
    Would there ever be anyone who would draw near
    His cry is deadened by the walls of dirt
    Beyond wondering if any bones were hurt

    If only he could hear, “I’m hanging on, I am here”

    Years later, he lived in that dark, desperate hole
    Only now it was his history taking its toll
    The muck and the mire, the feelings strangling
    Collapsed in despair, no longer dangling
    The filth it was piling, every sense consumed
    Emotions awry, is there hope in his doom
    Lost in nothingness, did anyone know
    Would anyone care if he is stuck below

    If only he could hear, “I’m hanging on, I am here”

    Circumstances, physical, emotional, the same
    Desperation, aloneness perpetuate the game
    Everyone needs a rope to take hold
    A friend, a helper, someone who’ll enfold
    Out of the ground he once was pulled
    Emotions are rampant, he is still bulled

    If only he could hear, “I’m hanging on, I am here”

  34. Gloria Bostic

    Fated Affliction

    So many angry words
    Are shouted through tears into
    Ears of innocence in miniature mortal,
    Through portals, to the core of
    Metamorphosing young, warping development,
    Predicting perseveration of debasement.

    Toxic tyranny begets years of torment…

    A son cries in fear
    As bellowing frightens and confuses,
    And father abuses the one who nurtures,
    Who’s the only protection, till she
    Needs protecting, not able to shelter
    Her young from witnessing ugliness
    From growing and learning
    What a family is and how it lives

    Toxic tyranny begets years of torment…

    Teenage boy coercing girl, reliving
    Lessons learned in home schooling
    From first teacher, man of anger,
    Molded in his image, growing to be
    Fashioned in father’s form
    No escaping prevalent storms within.

    Toxic tyranny begets years of torment…

    G. K. Bostic – 5/12/11

  35. Evelyn N. Alfred

    inspiration comes when
     
     
    ideas bubble and surface
    easily at the beginning
    cursive lead slides across
    the page, filling in
    the white space          but
    then turns to vapor.
     
    would’ve came back for you
    i just needed time to do what i had to do
     
    i watched the sun
    walk on the sky
    dissolving clouds with rays
    but she wasn’t there
    left alone with the
    moon, not even the
    twinkle of Venus helped
    uncover her hiding place.
     
    would’ve came back for you
    I just needed time to do what I had to do
     
    i would search forever
    if i thought she
    was hiding from me
    last time she came
    after I sat down
    to write a poem.
     
    would’ve came back for you
    i just needed time to do what I had to do
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
    *the song excerpt comes from “Aston Martin Music” by Rick Ross.

  36. vivienne blake

    Bopping Mad

    To bop or not to bop
    that is the problem.
    The heart wants to dance
    but the head says I can’t
    and the body just says ouch.
    I need to stay here on the couch.

    Feet tap-tap-tapping
    heart knock-knock-knocking

    Fifty years ago
    dancing was all I wanted
    Saturday nights rocking
    with such athletic bopping.
    Now, stiff of joint
    and short of breath
    the most I can do
    is a couple of steps.

    Feet tap-tap-tapping
    heart knock-knock-knocking

    So what can I do
    when the music makes me dance?
    I can shut my eyes
    and twirl away –
    in my head I dip and sway –
    grateful for the chance.

    toes tap-tap-tapping
    mind rock-rock-rocking.

  37. Evelyn N. Alfred

    Evelyn N. Alfred
    flashes: a bop for bix b.
     
    he hungered for the notes
    playing before he could see the keys
    mother bird chewed them for him
    while he regurgitated beauty
    fingertips savoring the song
    without knowing the recipe.
     
    the hungry and the hanged, the damaged and the done
    striving along this spinning rock, tumbling past the sun
     
    without knowing the recipe
    he learned how to taste the tune
    adding brown sugar, nutmeg,
    and horn lines
    but couldn’t bake an unfamiliar harmony
    cooling his heart,  sinking the middle
    to what effect?
    is a fallen cake ruined?
     
    the hungry and the hanged, the damaged and the done
    striving along this spinning rock, tumbling past the sun
     
    is a fallen cake ruined?
    forced to flash up the treble
    singed in chicago winds.
    south side speakeasies
    intoxicated his ballads
    he hungered for the notes.
     
    the hungry and the hanged, the damaged and the done
    striving along this spinning rock, tumbling past the sun
     
     
     
     
     
     
    The song excerpt comes from “God Bless Our Dead Marines” by A Silver Mt. Zion
     

  38. Robert Lee Brewer

    Christine, I haven’t been sending you direct messages on Twitter. You may be receiving tweets, and the only way to stop those is to quit following me, which is pretty easy to do. However, I can’t do that for you. Only you have the power to say who you are or are not following.

  39. Elizabeth Johnson

    Here’s a revision of one from the November PAD challenge. Robert, it hasn’t been "published" anywhere other than here and my personal blog. I may try to write a fresh one, but thought this one might let some of you crack a smile…

    Chicken on the Run

    Like the world’s greatest inventors
    he found ninety-nine ways to do it wrong
    before discovering the one way to do it right,
    the embodiment of that old adage to
    try and try again, keep on keeping on,
    until finally the shell of success is cracked.

    Plucky little chicken on the run.

    He seemed not to care how often he was
    flattened by the tires of a poultry truck, or
    squished flat on the sidewalk like an egg that
    had splattered and shattered on the ground,
    how often he was lost and forlorn amidst chaos
    of whizzing cars and legs and flashing red lights,
    dazed and dizzied, disoriented by disorder,
    doomed by the zoom of traffic around him.

    Plucky little chicken on the run.

    Like an inventor, he kept on clucking, playing
    chicken with the cars and the crowds, trying
    to sneak unseen across the street, unflappable
    even in failure; he kept trying and trying again
    until finally! he cracked the birdbrained mystery
    of how to cross to the other side of the street.

    Plucky little chicken on the run.

  40. Michael Grove

    Distractions

    All of the great truths are not always
    written where they should be.
    These are the answers we seek.
    Perhaps, we are too busy to find
    out where the answers exist,
    or we make ourselves too busy to look.

    Surrounded by distractions,
    we move simply with reactions.

    It is the questions that are not
    also written where we can read them.
    We ask so many questions.
    Never the wrong ones.
    Perhaps, not the right ones either.
    We watch what they want us to watch
    and read what they want us to read
    and we don’t know which questions to ask.

    Surrounded by distractions,
    we move simply with reactions.

    We are to busy seeking answers to someone
    else’s questions and following their agenda.
    Who are they anyway?
    We must look at ourselves in their mirror and break glass.
    We are not supposed to know
    either the answers or the questions.

    Surrounded by distractions,
    we move simply with reactions.

    By Michael Grove
    Copyright 5/12/2011

  41. Christine

    Could you please tell me how to stop the direct messages on twitter? I messaged you on twitter and you said there was a link to where to stop the direct messages, but there was only a link to these posts and absolutely NO where to stop the dm’s. I’d like them to stop now as they are not useful to me. Please help.

    Thanks

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