2010 November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Day 19

For today’s prompt, write a poem with a hole in it. The hole could be referenced in the poem, which could be about subjects such as hitting a golf ball in the hole, punching a hole in the wall, or even visiting a hole in the wall bar. Of course, with everyone flexing their concrete poetry skills lately, I’m sure at least a few poets might take a stab at writing a poem with an actual hole in the middle (maybe a doughnut-shaped poem?). Another possibility is to write a poem with a hole in its logic, but I’m sure you can find any number of loop-holes for attacking this prompt.

Here’s my attempt:

“We’re not strangers”

We’re not strangers, but we are
visiting. Tonight, we will worship
the moon–not because we think
it’s a god or ghost rising over us.

Instead, we’ll worship it, because
the moon is the closest object
that doesn’t touch the earth.

We, who are not strangers, will
praise the moon and consider
those close to us who we do not
touch–those beautiful men and
women who might destroy us
if we were ever to collide.

Like stars, our hearts surround
the moon with smaller hopes
as it reflects the bright hope
of the nearest star toward us.

We, who are not strangers, are
unable to speak. Instead, we
reflect all that burns and hope
to be praised like the largest
orbiting hole in the evening sky.

*****

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*****

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173 thoughts on “2010 November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Day 19

  1. Dennis Wright

    Where You Are

    I dug a hole in the ground
    For a forsythia bush.
    "More to add", I thought,
    "To my Asian garden theme."

    There stand the empty stalks,
    Of Siberian iris that bloomed,
    in late spring again this year.
    Yet they do not stand-alone.

    The peony and dogwood tree,
    Sink their roots toward their home.
    Who knows how many others,
    Here join their shared heritage.

    For the living have a home.
    Some wander to find the world.
    Some will stay alone at home.
    Rest forsythia where you are.

  2. Lauren Dixon

    Black Hole

    I bought a bracelet that
    says “je ne regrette rien,”
    hoping it will remind me
    that regret is a black hole,
    sucking energy toward
    an insatiable appetite for
    Sadness of things not done,
    Apologies for things said,
    Where Guilt wears a crown,
    Energy spent on it
    is always wasted.
    Je ne regrette rien.
    I regret nothing.
    At least I’m trying
    to regret nothing.
    It’s hard to do, we exhaust
    ourselves with what ifs.
    Regret always lives in the past,
    where we wallow in unhappiness,
    getting manic mud everywhere,
    or run through it smiling, thinking,
    Why can’t we have moments
    like those all the time?
    When we are too busy in the past,
    the present is ignored,
    and the future,
    invisible.

  3. ideurmyer

    Red Hole

    A hole on the mount with two on each side
    where they stood the tree on which my savior died
    A hole in each hand and also his feet
    Holes on his back cannot compete
    with the pain he bore like a hole in his heart
    when he cried to his father,"why did you depart?"

  4. Rosemary Nissen-Wade

    The Children

    The children squatted in a circle
    around a space on the ground,
    heads bent, hands moving
    in a game I couldn’t see:

    David and Stephen, blonde,
    aged six and four — mine —
    and Rini and Trisna, dark,
    quick and thin, a little older.

    Absorbed in their play,
    unconcerned with us,
    unconsciously beautiful
    in opposite ways,

    they spoke to each other
    with looks and gestures
    and with words they didn’t share,
    the meaning understood.

    In the centre of their circle
    was a space, which they filled
    with the business of play
    and with communication.

    There was no gap between them.

  5. Susanne Barrett

    Still catching up–only three poems behind now….

    THE HOLE
    The hole broadens, widens,
    swallowing me whole
    in a single, satisfied gulp.
    And I let it happen.

    I felt helpless against its powers,
    unable to put up a fight,
    unable to struggle against it,
    unable to whisper for help.
    And who could help me anyway?

    Perfection is a demanding taskmaster,
    one to whom I had bowed in obeisance
    far too often to resist now.
    And so I had limply acquiesced,
    entering the all-consuming black hole
    once again.

  6. Juanita Lewison-Snyder

    sinkhole
    by juanita lewison-snyder

    the man i love
    is busy dealing
    with outside forces
    that i am all too
    well familiar with.
    ever the pining victim
    i cannot bring myself
    to tap his shoulder
    and tell of my own welts
    that sting and redden
    like pond leeches,
    sucking away
    faith and dignity.
    nor is there strength
    left to pray for
    the widening sinkhole
    within.

    © 2010 by Juanita Lewison-Snyder

  7. S.E.Ingraham

    How Could I Have Known

    That last night we called down the night
    Bled the clouds scarlet, rushed twilight’s mauve
    Trying to drown each other darkly with endings

    You still spun your lines with spider-like intricacy
    Weaving delicate nets of treachery you thought
    Would bind me to you again but I slashed on through

    Determined this time to ignore all your wiles, your coy
    Ways and entreaties, the smell behind your knees
    That cried out to my heart and tried holding me close

    At long last you ran down the day and your love
    Petered out with the sun rising brilliantly blinding
    Me to the hole you were leaving, that large space

    Where you’d been, the glow that you shed
    Gone out now left greyness, not even your outline
    Just a sucking deep emptiness – how could I have known

  8. Sam Nielson

    Dark Holes

    Seven rifles muzzles
    Point into the blue sky
    With white clouds,
    A barked command,
    Three volleys;
    Crracck
    Crracck
    Crracck
    A violence of sound
    Near fresh earth.

    The seven, old and grey
    Themselves not far from
    Lying alone here.
    Only those who have
    Endured service in the
    Mud and scream of battle
    Can fire here benignly
    At the white clouds
    That simply accept
    The shots and seal over.

    Flowers here, pale in color
    Sweet in odor, stand in for
    There as flash flower sight,
    Ground blooms pound,
    An explosion of confusion,
    Concussive on chests,
    Sweet acridity of burn,
    Eyes water, and the battle
    Moves on without. Here
    We listen to reverberations.

  9. Taylor Graham

    WEDDING RING

    Gold polished to a perfection
    about the stiffening finger-joints.
    Long after the clasp of a husband’s
    fingers on her own, she entrusts

    the ring back to the jeweler,
    its maker. What about the fire
    lives in gems and precious
    metal; what spark leaps from end

    to end of the snake-circle of a ring,
    its pledge of coiling generations?
    The ring glimmers a jeweler’s dark
    under glass. All night it nags the Moon,

    that pale reflected light; envies the Sun
    its incandescent core. Like an aging
    wife, it desires flame, a forge.
    Let midnight bells alarm lover

    from young lover, rumpled groom
    from scuffed bride. Brilliant center
    of fire, a ring. Gold-banded hole to slip
    a life through. Reflection of its loss.

  10. Jeanne Rogers

    November 19, 2010

    Heartache

    She senses the void,
    yet can’t see beyond—
    knew how careful her next steps
    would have to be.
    In her heart was nothing—
    no joy, no sorrow,
    no tell-tale glimmer
    to guide her through.
    Sans emotion, her mind
    moves into action,
    clarity a hard-won battle.

  11. Monica Martin

    There’s a hole in the backyard,
    that has been filled with
    evil and filled in. The ground
    is trying to belch it up, but
    I won’t let it. I’ll fill the
    hole with lye and holy
    water to dissolve the evil
    and keep it buried.

  12. Diane Trwell

    (PAD – Poetic Asides)

    Over But Not Done

    When I was a little girl
    I had nightmare after nightmare.
    I was falling through circles
    all in shades of neon.

    First was blue, then red, then
    purple, then orange, then yellow,
    then lime green, then white.  I
    never learned what this was about.

    I do have an affinity for color though.
    I always saw colors within range.
    I had a perfect memory to match.
    and later in life I did learn to paint.

    Something about falling through
    terrified me though.  I felt fear
    every time I felt falling through
    circles of neon lights.

    What mattered was falling
    through circles of light,
    even though I had a perfect
    memory, learning to paint later.

  13. Terri French

    The next step

    He always wore his socks out
    at the heels,
    a 2 inch thread bare hole
    in the heel of every single pair.

    His socks were a testament
    to his approach to life–
    strong confident steps;
    He never tip-toed into a single
    life’s moment.

    It was only proper that
    we buried him with his shoes off,
    so he could stride through
    those pearly gates like he did
    through all of life–
    raring to go and ready
    for the next step.

  14. S.E.Ingraham

    How Could I Have Known

    That last night we called down the night
    Bled the clouds scarlet, rushed twilight’s mauve
    Trying to drown each other darkly with endings

    You still spun your lines with spider-like intricacy
    Weaving delicate nets of treachery you thought
    Would bind me to you again but I slashed on through

    Determined this time to ignore all your wiles, your coy
    Ways and entreaties, the smell behind your knees
    That cried out to my heart and tried holding me close

    At long last you ran down the day and your love
    Petered out with the sun rising brilliantly blinding
    Me to the hole you were leaving, that large space

    Where you’d been, the glow that you shed
    Gone out now left greyness, not even your outline
    Just a sucking deep emptiness – how could I have known

  15. Bruce Niedt

    A day late, now I’m only almost one day behind. Here’s a kyrielle:

    Holes

    The life’s work of so many moles,
    they’re bigger, the old riddles say,
    the more you try to take away.
    Our lives are always filled with holes.

    We’ve tunnels, dug to reach our goals
    beneath the channels and the bays,
    All for our rails and our highways.
    Our lives are always filled with holes.

    Anthracite, bituminous coals
    must be extracted underground,
    we scar the earth with every pound.
    Our lives are always filled with holes.

    We dig – for what – to save our souls?
    So many foxholes held the brave
    who came home to an early grave.
    Our lives are always filled with holes.

    Our world’s dug up between its poles,
    so much it seems like a Swiss cheese.
    It quakes and rocks, to our unease.
    Our lives are always filled with holes.

  16. Daniel Ari

    "A hole as something"

    When is a whole not an absence?
    When a crab finds it as escape
    in the bottom of a bucket;
    when the work break turns vacation;
    in golf, when the hole is the prize;
    when the sides of the hole are seen
    as the wrapper or packaging
    for something within, holy space
    of air, flux, suction, darkness, light.

    Pantleg holes make pants into pants.
    The bottle’s center holds the wine.
    The hole in your heart is a door
    where who knows who might knock or leave
    gifts or enter the holes between
    your cells, where your cells breath and stretch
    and seep into the new day’s weave.

    DA

  17. Marian O'Brien Paul

    Hole: Punched in Wall

    I don’t recall what caused the dispute,
    only the outcome: hole punched in wall;
    and some of the milieu: husband drunk,
    angry at something we disagreed about,
    angry enough to hit someone, even me,
    but sober enough to punch the wall, or
    maybe he missed. I don’t recall, really.
    Next day was the maid’s day to come.

    As other Air Force families in Turkey,
    we indulged in a weekly maid. Enter
    Aisha. She spies the hole in the wall,
    starts plucking plaster bits from floor
    tossing pieces in the trash, vehemence
    smashing larger pieces smaller. Voice
    muttering, she turns to me and growls,
    Hepsi erkeler çok fena! I‘ll translate.

    “All men, very bad.” Commiseration
    fueling speech, she gabbles on, adds
    dramatic gesture. Picking out kocam
    and dişlerim, I watch her lift up fists
    the way one holds a stick to break it.
    I’ve Turkish enough to catch the gist:
    “my husband” plus “my teeth” plus
    breaking motion. She sympathized.

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