2010 November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Day 18

For today’s prompt, write a lost & found poem. I suppose you could focus on either what’s lost or what’s found–or both. Or you could focus on how things change after something lost. Or after something is found. Or…I’m starting to lose my train of thought. I’m sure you’ve probably got the idea.

Here’s my attempt:

“The paths we travel”

Paths are a blessing, but I don’t always
have a map or compass to guide me.

Though paths are still a blessing, I don’t
always follow where they lead me. Sometimes,

I’ll notice a hill or stream and feel compelled
to investigate. Not always, but often,

paths are a blessing, because they help
me find so many new ways to get lost.


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16 thoughts on “2010 November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Day 18

  1. S.E.Ingraham

    Finding the Lost

    I have such excitement I can barely stand it
    Last night with my dinner tray came a gift
    From Allah, I believe, for when I removed
    The cover from my plate – a tiny red bug
    Fluttered up at me and landed on my hand

    At first, like a little girl, I squealed, I was so
    Startled – my first visitor, besides my lawyer
    In – in – in, I cannot remember how long
    There is no sense of time here and I am
    Denied a watch or any way of telling day
    From night – but never mind, now I have
    A pet! Alright, it is but an insect, but still

    Something alive with me in this desolate
    Place and she is so lovely – I am convinced
    This dainty thing – all over red with tiny
    Black dots cannot be anything but female
    Seems almost tame – she flits away
    For only seconds at a time, then back
    She comes to alight upon one of my hands

    At first, I tried to think how to contain her
    So she could not fly away but then –
    I could not bear the thought of keeping
    Her from leaving if leaving is what she wants
    For would that not make me as bad as
    Those who are keeping me here against
    My will – I will not be that person, ever

    Then – what to feed my dear lady bug?
    And I have come to realize that she is likely
    Just that – a ladybug – I remember
    From way back in my childhood
    Such little things were considered lucky
    Back in Canada – but what did they eat?
    Or did I ever even know that…

    It matters not – I, who was so lost
    Have been found and saved for now
    By this tiny winged creature, this little
    Ladybug; I will put all of my energy
    Into keeping her safe, keeping her alive
    Doing whatever I can for however long
    I might be graced with her presence
    She is a gift to one such as me.

  2. AC Leming


    Snow thick as fog
    obscures the riverbank
    from eyes desperate
    for a break.

    Low on gas, the snow
    mobile stops and two
    toddlers get tucked into
    the unzipped 

    mummy bag.  New village,
    strange route home at dusk,
    in snowfall.  Father ignores
    Mother’s pleas

    to stay the night with
    colleagues.  Instead, 
    an entire village roused
    to search 

    for new teachers caught
    out in subzero temperatures.
    Sent on the right trail
    by a teenage 

    hunter running his sled dogs
    home from a hunt.  Tail 
    tucked between his legs, 
    the new principal 

    already lost face,
    almost lost multiple lives 
    out on the river 
    of ice.       

  3. Kyhaara

    “It” (palindrome poem)
    His demons want “it.”
    Father needs “it.”
    “It” is necessary.
    “It” is searching for something―
    Father found “it.”
    “It” found Father
    For searching… is it necessary?
    Is it?
    “It” needs Father.
    “It” wants demons.

  4. Megan

    Lost and found Poetry

    Lost along bits of broken lives
    Only to be found and collaged into poetry
    Scraps of overheard conversations
    Take new meaning when twisted by poets

    Any news item can be poked and prodded
    Nothing is safe from satire
    Data is absorbed and lyricized

    Finding thought in random places
    Often in very odd places
    Under the third shelf of the used thought store
    Never where you expect to find sanity
    Dreams can be located lost and written

    Poetry is
    Often scary
    Recap of your inner thoughts
    Yet still we pursue random acts of writing

  5. Susanne Barrett

    Better late than never as I scurry to catch up….

    I think I may have found it,
    flinging itself haplessly against
    the iron bars of my brain.

    It’s a nebulous thing,
    creeping about with vain stealth,
    hiding behind the kitchen door,
    peering at me from behind the rocker,
    its eyes blinking in flickers of fire,
    winking slyly in evening candlelight.

    It’s something I need to capture,
    fluttering its wings in frantic panic
    as I cup it with care between my hands,
    taking it out the front door,
    out onto icy front porch steps,
    and releasing it into blank night–
    hoping to never see it again.

    It’s an insidious, deadly thing–

  6. Juanita Lewison-Snyder

    Lost & Found
    by Juanita Lewison-Snyder

    And I shall once again
    walk a path lined with
    the sweetness of golden
    jonquils and daffodils
    the remainder of my days,
    for thou art with me
    in flesh and spirit,
    in seed and in papyrus,
    oh Seraphim of Love and Light
    whose mercy launched
    a thousand ships to come
    looking for me, refusing
    to give in until this bluff
    of sharp points and
    crumbling rock
    had been scaled and
    I scooped up, back
    into the waiting arms
    of Self-Worth.

    © 2010 by Juanita Lewison-Snyder

  7. Rosemary Nissen-Wade

    Lost and Found

    We lost
    the certainty
    of being our greatest loves.

    We lost the keeping
    of our promises to each other,
    the warmth of them,
    and truth.

    He did allow himself
    to be seduced
    by the soft-voiced young woman
    with lowered eyes.

    And I, refraining from golden youth,
    fell into other (unregretted) arms.
    A fellow traveller, a romantic
    story I won’t tell here.


    We found
    the real truth of each other
    to each other —
    which we then ignored.

    In our hearts
    we were brother and sister,
    not lovers.
    Not even best friends, but mirrors.

    We found a way back
    to our interrupted marriage.
    There was love; it was real.
    And there were the kids.

    I played him like a whore
    rather than risk them a stepmother —
    mine was cruel, my Dad too weak.
    And that’s the truth.

  8. Sam Nielson

    Lost Or Found

    He found himself when he found himself
    Almost lost in the deep stand of pine.
    This quiet resolves itself into
    A persistant scatter of small noises
    and muffled sound
    A crack of dropped branch
    Lost from a red pine
    A dull thrumming of grouse
    Finding each other

    The sun’s warm fingers
    Touch the needle carpet
    And a nut-brown smell
    Lifts up. Another shaft of sun
    Drops through a column of leaves
    On the only aspen here.
    The muted sun-warmth
    Plays on closed eyelids
    In a warm beat.

    The largess of a breeze
    Narrated by the chitter
    Of gray squirrel, and the
    Far-off cry of jay, point
    The way out, but not yet.
    He listens to the
    Conversation of trunks,
    Trees groaning and creaking
    In their slow root dance.

  9. Yoly


    We searched for my son’s birthday gift
    and found the only unnamed dog at the shelter.
    The boxer/pit didn’t doggy beg to be taken
    from his temporary dwelling when we tested
    demeanor and obedience. It is like he knew
    to just wag his unusually long tail and with black
    bean eyes he could evangelize the gift of a silent
    petition that shifts what is unconsciously lost
    to the side where found things thrive.

  10. Mike Barzacchini


    August heat rising from
    single lane country road.
    Cracked asphalt and
    ditches thick with
    black-eyed Susans.

    To be lost,
    driving without
    any purpose other than
    the curiosity to see where
    this road will take me.

    Air thick with promise:
    undiscovered small towns,
    secret garage sales,
    neon glow of barbecue signs,
    ice cream stand invitations.

  11. Bruce Niedt

    Navigationally Challenged

    Given the choice of left or right,
    I’ll pick the wrong way almost every time.
    The road not taken is my usual route.
    If I ask my wife for directions, she might say,
    “You know – you’ve gone there before,”
    and I’ll reply, “Only two or three times!”
    I’m one of the few men on the planet
    not ashamed to ask a passing stranger
    for directions. My Tom Tom helps,
    but it’s not an airtight guarantee –
    I still allow “lost time”, an extra ten minutes
    or more for my sense of misdirection.

    Today on my job, I interviewed a young man
    who is an autistic savant.
    He can barely string a sentence together,
    and can’t look another human in the eye,
    but he knows every street name in the U.S.
    and can tell me how to get there.
    “He’s a walking GPS,” his dad,
    who was with him, remarked. He works
    part time as a driver for a senior center,
    because he never, ever, gets lost.
    How I envy him.

  12. Marian O'Brien Paul

    Lost Summer Youth

    Picture me, seated on the old green couch
    Mom at work, brothers out climbing trees.

    Burgundy drapes pulled to shut out sun
    front and back doors open for the breeze.

    Seen through the front screen, the tall elms
    line the street, wave a symphony of leaves.

    Plate of apple chunks warm from the sun
    wormy parts cut out, bruise tasting sweet.

    Open book on my lap, my legs curled up,
    glass of ice cubes to chew against the heat.

    Sometimes in dream I’m back in that place
    lost in summer youth, free to do as I please.


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