2011 April PAD Challenge: Day 17

Yesterday, we had the snapshot poem.

For today’s prompt, write a big picture poem. I know these can be difficult to write, because they cover big ideas or emotions or concepts. However, we’re just getting our first drafts out this month, so it’s the perfect time to attempt something big–even if your big picture poem fits within a shadorma or fib, which actually might be a great fit for tackling a big picture since the poem expands with each new line.

Here’s my attempt:

“Poetry and world peace”

I don’t believe in the perfect poem,
one poem that could stop every gun
from firing, every fist from punching,
every mouth from saying what shouldn’t
be said. Prufrock’s love song appeals to some,
but leaves others scratching their heads. So much
depends on red wheel barrows in a few
circles, but others couldn’t be bothered
with white chickens (rain or no rain). Again,
I don’t believe in the perfect poem,
though I’d like world peace. I’d like to wake up
every morning without a reason
to mourn what’s happening on this planet
each day. You know what’s happening as much
as I do. The knives and shouting, the lack
of “thank you” and “please.” The little things that
build over generations and sink their
teeth into our skin. The big mistakes we
make after we let smaller ones snowball.
I don’t believe in the perfect poem,
but we can still keep trying anyway.


Follow me on Twitter @robertleebrewer

Tweet your April PAD Challenge progress on Twitter with the #aprpad hashtag.


Paint pictures with words!
Some say a picture is worth a thousand words, but how do you convey a picture in a thousand words or less? Rebecca McClanahan provides tips in her book Word Painting, which helps writers write in a way that enables their readers to “see” what’s happening.

Click here to learn more.

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0 thoughts on “2011 April PAD Challenge: Day 17

  1. Melissa Rossetti Folini

    Catching up on posting my poems for the past for days! Hoping for time to read some as well -mrf

    In the BIG picture
    we vacation several times a year
    in places snow wouldn’t dare to appear.
    In the BIG picture
    there is always more coming in
    than going out.
    In the BIG picture
    everyone is happy and
    everyone is healthy
    In the BIG picture
    his name is on the door
    mine is on the Bestseller.
    In the BIG picture
    there are draft horses in the yard
    and Mustangs and Hogs in the garage.
    In the BIG picture
    our life has gone from
    2-D images and wishes
    to reality.

  2. MiskMask

    Melissa, I hasten to clarify that my darling little Molly would never bite me nor anyone else, unless they were disguised as a sheet of paper or an envelope, stuffing themselves through my mail slot in the door and falling to the carpeted floor directly below…I certainly hope that you remembered to breathe through all that … Happy Monday to you.

    Kim King, glad that you found a place, secret or other wise, where you can spread your creative wings. 🙂

  3. Penny Henderson


    Just three years
    speaking to mental tape recorder
    red letter
    words memorized for millennia.

    One slow death
    amid the millions who die each day,
    yet causing
    quakes and aftershocks through centuries.

    tiny flame
    set a dry and broken world ablaze.
    living water to quench all thirsting.

    a small thread
    in the vast tapestry of time,
    but so bright
    it draws the eye of all who can see.

  4. Kim King

    Thanks to all who had positive comments on my poem today…including Jane, MiskMask and Connie. It gives me positive strength to keep on writing. This is still a "secret" forum for me, where I csn read poetry, write poetry and be understood. None of my friends and nobody in my family "gets it". Sometimes I feel as if I write in a vacuum, until I hear from you. I profoundly thank you.

    And thanks to Robert, who is the spider spinning the web in which we are all caught.:)

  5. ann

    Cracked Earth

    april cracks open,
    water gushing over banks
    and up through ground rock–
    waves pouring over
    greening field, house;
    there is no hard surface,
    no sure thing
    when even the gold ring,
    clasped hands,
    and oak floor
    can all shake loose
    in an instant,
    undo like a knot
    tied tight
    but with one loop
    slipped in wrong.

  6. ann

    Cracked Earth

    april cracks open,
    water gushing over banks
    and up through ground rock–
    waves pouring over
    greening field, house;
    there is no hard surface,
    no sure thing
    when even the gold ring,
    clasped hands,
    and oak floor
    can all shake loose
    in an instant,
    undo like a knot
    tied tight
    but with one loop
    slipped in wrong.

  7. MiskMask

    A Dog’s View of the Big Barking Picture

    Yes, I have a treat but you
    must do as I repeat.
    No, sssssit!
    Good girl.
    Now stay. Ready?
    Sssstay. Sssstay.
    No, sit and stay.
    No jumping up. Now steady.
    Down, girl.
    Ready? Again. Sssssit. Ssssstay.
    No. Back. Ah heck. Bite me.

    And so she did.

  8. Kyhaara

    Hotel Budget:
    Ignore the small details
    such as the dead cockroaches
    and the occasional tiny black ant
    crawling along the once-white carpet.
    Do not worry. They won’t kill you.

    Forget about the broken lamps
    and use the light from the scroungy
    windows to dress and pack. Think
    about it this way: you are saving
    the planet by staying with us.

    Concern yourself not with the
    cold shower water. It is summer,
    and a very refreshing way to begin
    your morning. Coffee is redundant
    and much worse for your health.

    Focus on the big picture: here,
    there is a roof over your head
    and a bed to sleep in, a place
    to wash and a place to rest.
    A place we call Hotel Budget.

  9. Zeb

    I can’t keep saying thankyou.. ok once more, thank you for reading and commenting. I’m so touched.

    Special thanks to Miskmask and her beaded periwinkle who is encouraging me behind the scenes.

    Gretchen Gersh Whitman – I want to copy your poem to my Dad, who also writes, he would love this one of yours as I do for its politics and its energy, honouring our ancestors in verse, wonderful stuff. Thank you!

    Zeb (aka Joanna)

  10. MiskMask

    My thanks go to the following for their comments and for taking the time to read my poems today:
    Lori, Domino, Karen Legg, Andrea Boltwood, Sara McNulty, Linda Voit, Michael Grove, and Jane Shlensky.

    My goodness such a lot of wonderful poetry posted for this prompt. All stood out in one way or another, but the following touched me:

    Pearl’s From Out There & The Big Picture-Little Girl, Karen Phillips’s View to Next Week, Rachel Green’s Last Welcombe,Lori Thatcher’s fib – growing sprouts and herbs, J. D. Mackenzie’s Richard Cory’s View, Joe’s 16:9 Mind, de’s Pondering the Big Picture & Misfit, Katrelya Angus’s Ron’s Poem, Zeb, Janet Rice Carnahan (juice is the essence!), Kim King’s Recycling, Joseph Harker, Nikki Markle, Taylor Graham, Andrew’s Beggars, Lori’s Fields of Flowers, Doctor’s Live, Karen Legg, Sara’s Barry Sanders, and finally but by no means last is Khadija Anderson’s fascinating piece with strike-outs.

  11. Gretchen Gersh Whitman

    PAD 2011- April 17
    Prompt: Big picture


    When my grandfather arrived at
    Ellis Island in 1905, he was listed as “baker”
    on the ship’s manifest.

    A young man in his twenties, he didn’t sleep in
    the tenements of the Lower East Side.
    After an eighteen hour shift he
    collapsed on flour sacks in the back room
    of a sweltering bakery.

    As a boy in Warsaw he
    was jailed for handing out leaflets
    against the czar.

    Here no streets were paved with gold. Instead
    he witnessed bakers slaving over
    hot ovens in summer heat for
    pennies. So with two pals, he organized the first
    Jewish Bakers Union in NYC. He was
    spit upon, beaten, & persecuted.
    Liberty comes at a price.

    Now in 2011, a hundred years later, they say
    the rights of collective bargaining & union workers,
    that he scrapped & brawled for, must be abandoned.

    If there is a soapbox in
    Heaven, my grandfather shakes
    his fist & calls the angels to rise up
    as one, just as he did as an old man in
    the Bronx park, waving the
    progressive Yiddish newspaper,
    “The Daily Forward,” shouting
    to old cronies & passersby,
    before he died,

    Gretchen Gersh Whitman

  12. mallora

    Love and marriage

    They’ll be together forever.
    He lives to be by her side.
    They are so in love.
    She thinks about him all the time.

    He lives to be by her side.
    He wants her all alone.
    She thinks about him all the time.
    She wonders what he’s doing.

    He wants her all alone.
    He’s so busy with big things
    She wonders what he’s doing.
    She feels so alone.

    He’s so busy with big things.
    They are so in love.
    She feels so alone.
    They’ll be together forever.

  13. Tanja Cilia

    The Big Picture:
    Law and Order; An Acrostic

    Leverage factors, Lapsed Gifts…. Law’s an Ass,
    Attendant Circumstance, A Vinculo Matrimonii
    Waiver the Writ of Execution

    A Mensa Et Thoro, A fortiori
    Naked Nullity
    Directed Verdict, Decrees and Damages…

    Objections to Obsolescence
    Range of Value – Reciprocity
    Defendants and Depositions…
    Extenuating Circumstances…
    Revocation of Reward!

  14. Joseph Beckman

    2011 April PAD Challenge: Day 17
    Posted by Robert
    Yesterday, we had the snapshot poem.
    For today’s prompt, write a big picture poem.
    Fibonacci Poetry: A new poetic form!
    “Fib” for a Diamond Anniversary
Love next

    Children come
Happy retirement

    Sweet memories spanning lifetimes.

    © April 17, 2011 by Joseph Beckman

    Fibonacci poetry was founded by Gregory K. Pincus last year as a 6-line poem that follows the Fibonacci sequence for syllable count per line (per Robert)

  15. de jackson

    Marcia: Wow. Thank you so much. Your comment makes me want to giggle like a 3 year old girl (gleefully riding on a giraffe’s back) and cry, all at the same time. And wonder what I did to earn it. And how to keep doing it…hmmmm. Too much to ponder for one night. Let’s just say you made my day, and leave it at that. ; ) Thank you, thank you.

  16. Marcia Gaye

    Well, today was the perfect chance to acknowledge my love of Jesus – and His view of us, in poetry, and at the start of this sacred week too. And at the last minute I come up with giraffes! They are my favorite animal, and a bit of an inside joke between God and me. (I’m working up a poem explaining that!)

    So I thank all of you who have written poems for me today that express what I wanted to. You bless me.

    (de- Thx for the smile. I should tell you that I was asked recently to name some of my favorite poets, and along with some mighty names I included yours.)

  17. A~Lotus

    The Price of a Woman
    (A Shadorma Linked Sequence)

    Is it now
    thirty pieces of
    silver to
    hand over
    the body of a man who
    could see right through you?

    Why must there
    be a price tag on
    every man?
    so many were shipped over
    from unknown places

    like young girls
    and women who think
    they begin
    anew in
    the United States only
    to find themselves trapped

    in brothels
    abused and coerced
    into sex,
    or massage
    parlors where they are servants
    pleasing their clients’

    every whim
    and uncaring thought.
    But what to
    say when she
    tells you it’s the only way
    to earn a living?

    Or feed her
    starving child every
    night before
    she sleeps with
    tears dimpling what’s left of her
    small, wasted body,

    where this dirt-stained pillow
    offers a temporary refuge
    for her to scream at society
    that hope does not exist,
    that she is one of the 700,000
    sold around the world each year?

  18. de jackson

    Karen Legg: Pandora…So clever!
    Carol A. Stephen: yours made me smile
    Stephen S Whitaker: Blue Ridge…perhaps partly because I just hiked with my family today, this really struck a chord with me…love the smallness of the big picture, captured beautifully in your words
    Andrea Boltwood: loved the form of yours, very clever. and so true.
    chimnese: "Africa me home" is a beautiful tribute.
    Wendy: this poem was FAR from "impotent," especially this line…"The old vellum of this poet’s soul
    disintegrates and turns to dust.:" Powerful, so visual. And I loved the proximity of "cursor" and "curses the very words that appear." Enjoyed your other pieces tonight, too, especially "Wine Like Acid."
    Linda Simoni-Wastila: I love the concept of white space, margin, and your last line is perfect
    Buddah: Amen, and amen.

  19. Linda Voit

    Thanks for the comments Jerry and Jane, too. Jane, it is ironic that I wrote the poem I did. I often come bursting into meetings all "charge ahead" and people say, "Breathe, Linda, breathe." Guess I needed to remind myself of the big picture.

  20. Jane Shlensky

    First, thanks for encouragement to Lori Thatcher, Domino, PKP, and Andrea Boltwood. Great reading today. You fib folk and concrete writers have me experiencing shape envy.
    Some favorites:
    Catherine Lee–Frankenstein’s Confessional
    mike maher–the smell of pictures big and small is engaging idea.
    Bruce–Big Pic
    PKP–several good ones today
    Daniel–One Small Thing (reminds me of Mother Theresa’s "One can do no big thing but small things with great love" which I just misquoted) Lovely poem.
    Lori Thatcher–lovely
    Joy Cagil–Hurricane was meaningful to all us storm survivors.
    de–loved your fibs and cross (yes, shape envy)
    LBC–TV screen size in Alter the Big Pic. Great idea
    Kim King–recycling+
    Andrew K–loved both Air Safety and Beggars
    MiskMask–Apple Tree "nightmares are permeated with the aroma of tangy pine"
    Nancy P–Change, great closing lines, as previously mentioned
    Linda Voit–i’m breathing!
    MA Dobson–Death is what…a keeper.

    Sorry I’ve some so late. Long day.

  21. de jackson

    Thank you, Michael and Katie.
    About to pour a glass of wine (yes, it’s spring break here in LV), and read for a bit. I’ve got a little Pavlov thing going on where my muse is already scanning the page and salivating. Must slow down and savor.

  22. John Pupo

    Under the Rug Swept

    Newspapers yellow over time,
    yet the print stays;
    headlines yearning to stay,
    while the relevance fades away.

    A culture obsessed with the now-
    we catalog everything, but
    like a hoarder, never retrieve it;
    it’s somewhere “just in case.”

    Japan will soon be distant,
    with another world tragedy afoot.
    People will still be struggling,
    homeless, scared – Katrina 2.0.

  23. Katie Dixon

    Trying to read so fast I’m not sure I can do justice to half of them! Here are some more that stuck out to me:

    Daniel – one small thing – loved it
    Joy – Hurricane – beautiful portrait
    De Jackson – fib and misfit – both struck cords
    Zeb, got lost in Big Picture Poem

  24. Michael Grove

    Caught my Eye today:
    De jacksons’ – cross (Misfit too of Course)
    Frame – by the Doctor
    Wendys’ – Wine like Acid
    PKP – Do not loose sight
    MiskMask – Apple Tree Fib.
    Janet Rice – Song of the Universe
    Carolyn Geraci – Existance
    Domino’s – Dell’Arte Esprit
    Richard Atwater
    The Biggest Picture Walt, way to hang there.
    Anna Beth – We should all write poems
    Connie Lard
    Kimberly Brock – Following Christ might be my favorite read of the day.
    Nina Lanctot – Always enjoy yours.
    Thanks for mentions de jackson, carolyn, Kim King, PKP, Linda Voit

  25. Corinne Dixon

    Just popping in one last time before bed….

    Thanks for the mentions, Jerry and Connie. Jerry, one thing I was pondering today about my neurotic reaction to the prompt was that when given a prompt, I always write FROM the big picture, but it’s funny that I froze when asked to write ABOUT the big picture as the prompt.

    On quick glance, I was drawn to M.A. Dobson’s – the one reposted, and also Gerardine Baugh’s "when people refuse to see heaven and hell mix at their tables"

    Lots of amazing stuff here! I didn’t get through it all.

  26. Katie Dixon

    Thanks to all the encouragement today! I love the Poetic asides community!

    PKP – great spot on contributions!
    Karen – You put words to what I wanted to say, but couldn’t find a way. very nice job!

    I am being amazed time and time again. Will keep reading and come back with more favorites!

  27. de jackson

    Many thanks to Linda Voit, Janet Rice Carnahan, Connie L. Peters, Andrea Boltwood, Domino, Andrew Kreider, Chev, Sara McNulty, Jacqueline Hallenbeck.
    Mucho kudos (so far, still reading) to:
    Catherine Lee for "Frankenstein’s Confessional"…what an original concept, beautifully written. I especially love "I wonder about them." and of course, the last line.
    Katie Dixon: "One Classroom"…loved your visual of knocking down walls, and planting seeds. It only takes one classroom, and one teacher like you to make a difference in the lives of many, many children. As a mama, I thank you and ask you to please, please keep teaching. The world needs more like you.

  28. Janet Rice Carnahan

    Linda Voit

    Just saw your mention! Thank you so very much for your shout out today, "To Know Peace". I appreciate it very much, Linda! Have a great evening!

  29. Janet Rice Carnahan

    Robert Lee Brewer

    Thank you for this grand topic of the Big Picture! It certainly expands one’s view! One of my favorite topics . . . I love it!

    De Jackson

    Thank you sincerely and dearly for your kind and thoughtful words, De. It is a joy to read through each poet’s words throughout the month. There are so many gems and unique expressions that it is a sheer delight to find them! Thank you for your sweet words of encouragement. Loved your cross today, by the way. Beautiful sentiment and a wonderful statement of devotion!

    Benjamin Thomas

    I appreciate your thoughts too! You are very kind, Benjamin!

    Pearl Girl

    Thank you for your continued support and positive unique commentary! Always uplifting and welcomed. Yes, it is a “Labor of love” to do these in depth commentaries because I truly believe every poetic voice deserves to be heard at least once! By the way, I would sit at your “Table” anytime! Beautiful image of joined peace!

    The Doctor

    Thank you for chiming in on the “Song of the Universe”. Sounds like it touched a “chord” of Love in you! I always Love how the big picture comes down to something we can all touch like Love. You heal with words, Dr.! Many thanks again!

    Andrew Kreider

    Thank you for your “life juicy” comments! Glad to see it squeezed out that joy for you too! Thanks, Andrew!

    Sara McNulty

    Thank you for your shout out on “To Know Peace”. I appreciate it, Sara! By the way, your giraffe to the ant . . . was excell –ant!


    (Yes, I thought they would be done this morning! Guess I didn’t see the bigger picture of the day back then!)


    Just with your title alone, I was already there! I loved your poem, “Existential” because of how you wrote it and for what you had to say. We “exhaust our life span in the pursuit of meaning immersing ourselves in science in religion in the wisdom of the ages in a perpetual pursuit to divine our purpose our presence on this blue-green globe becomes a turquoise blur as we try to wrap our heads around the unattainable.” This was so clear, succinct and wonderfully written, mbschied! Yes, we do think we can alter our existence or, at the very least, understand it. “Spinning your existence in the hopes that the unbroken strand of good deeds impresses enough for no one to notice the fine knots in the filament!” It would be helpful to know why we are here and often it is difficult to know yet it does seem fair to ask. “A cosmic preview when life becomes unendurable to know the degree of what you will contribute or not to know that your terrestrial presence has not been in vain to understand your purpose instead of floating on the tide and hoping helping currents will pull you inexorably to a fated finale. “ Most profound, powerful and poetic, mbschied! Deeply contemplative too! Thank you for sharing your philosophy of life. Beautiful!


    I really enjoyed your, “Big Picture Poem”, Jeb! It said so much in terms of the worries and fears in the world today that are easy to have, given all the real life situations occurring now. “The big picture squeezes my brain and makes my heart pump too fast. The big picture scares me so that I weep achy little tears. I stare at my plate and think ten years from now this will all be a dream, Earth drowned in a tsunami of radioactive tears.” It is definitely concerning when we watch human life be so affected and yet small creatures can still survive. We had a garage fire once and the black widow in the corner right by the fire made it. I thought that was amazing too. “Apparently cockroaches and termites will be just fine. Well, that’s all right then. As long as someone’s left to chew their way through the yellowing copies of the King James Bible and make sawdust of Shakespeare’s Sonnets. Maybe a beaded periwinkle will finally learn to speak and a dog learn to use a keyboard.” The images of our valued item being eaten away are vivid ways for us to realize the force of destruction. Your ending felt a bit discouraging and yet points well made. “Having had enough, it’s already time to depart. Old world, worn out, gentle heart still beating, hoping. All I can do is tread quietly, hoping to slip below the wire and not draw attention.” Ah, going to sneak out the back door, I see! Fabulous job, Jeb! You expressed this all so well.

    Earl Parsons

    Your haiku (bless you!) today was simply marvelous and certainly most apt, Earl. I loved it! Again, so little words and yet they conveyed such BIG meaning. I love it when poetry does that! “The question remains, what’s beyond the universe, why don’t we ask God.” Seems fair enough to me! If God doesn’t have the answer, who would exactly? It is an age old question and one that Mankind has asked throughout history. It is easy for us all to guess, wonder, ponder and contemplate on and yet, I like your clear answer, “Why don’t we ask God”. Would be most interesting to receive an answer! Let me know what else comes to you, Earl, because this was beautiful! Wonderful job!

    Juanita Lewison – Synder

    I thought your poem “Bearing Weight” was a sincere portrayal of a human situation with heavy pain. It was well done, Juanita, in terms of deep expression and profound sentiment. “Your name stares at me from across your facebook screen angry, defiant, jealous of a cushy life you think I had but never did.” The way you described the sister’s envy towards you living with your father was truly moving. “You’ve clung to like a bottled letter in your head all these years. Living with him gave me no bonus over you. Can’t you see I am just as lonely and twisted as you?” The continued description of items or pictures that would still not offer condolences was also poignant. Especially about the photos that will hurt your sister because she isn’t included in them. Juanita, your ending was what captured it all. “Do not attempt to cling to me, long lost sister, for I am broken too and simply cannot bear the weight for both of us.” It conjures up the opposite of the song, “He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother.” It might have been a difficult subject but it was a well done poem! Very nice, Juanita, very nice!

    Dare Gaither

    Maybe it is not “fair” to say, but I loved, “Unfair View”! With this prompt, I got a kick out of the short and concise words saying, oh, so much! I thought it was a beautiful fib that was really quite truthful! “A soft yearning resonates seeking to reveal the masterpiece beyond this frame.” I still get excited when I read it, Dare! I like your name, by the way, and clearly, you dared to write a sweet and succinct poem here! “The masterpiece beyond this frame” conjures up so much vivid imagery that no frame could ever “close it in”, when growth, change and evolution seems, at least, to be its hallmark. I always wonder, too, about the glory we cannot see. Words like “yearning” and “seeking to reveal” always “resonates” with me! I loved this very much, Dare . . . great job indeed!

    Barbara Young

    I think I got the picture in “Picture”. What a unique take relating to Stone Soup, Barbara. Going back in time to see what one could have done to make things better from the choices that they made is a great bit of reflection. “In a time of local plenty how can one selfish ignorant fool forestall inertia, how can a shy fat Baptist girl create a stone soup mix, the direction are simple: one hoards a skimpy meal but neighbors combine ingredients and share a feast.” Your rephrasing for those to come was not pretty based on what you described in terms of what does exist. “Rephrase that for yourself in future isolation when you find the way to say share for your own good write it on the walls tattoo it on the face of the moon drop seeds to sprout the design in waste places drop seeds to sprout the design in city parks hide the wording in speech insinuate it into humor.” I hope when you return with that message someday in time, Barbara, that sharing, especially food in a local time of plenty has been planted everywhere, especially tattooed on that great nightly orb! A beautiful and meaningful piece of writing! Great job, Barbara!

    Ok . . . the Big Picture today was a pretty impressive view of all the talent here! In our ever expanding PA family of poetic PAls, it took us all higher than ever! Sleep well and many thanks!

  30. Linda Voit

    Finally got some reading time! Here are some that stood out to me today:
    Becka (Big Picture), earlybird (in the greedy… – did you mean blanch, by the way?), Mike Maher (What the Big Picture Smells Like), PKP (Do not lose sight), Arielle Lancaster LaBrea (Dear Planet), Janet Rice Carnahan (To Know Peace), Justine Hemmestad (True Sight), Beth Rogers (Passover), De Jackson (war & love & …), Katrelya Angus (Ron’s Poem — I did not know that story), Zeb (Big Picture Poem), Joseph Harker (86th Floor), Sandra Robinson (The Big Picture), Jane Shlensky (The small and large), Banana (Best never to fib… nice fib 🙂 ), MiskMask (Stony Whispers), Gil Gallagher (Cosmology), Carol Stephen (hands that rock), Stephan S Whitaker (for those…), Maureen Babcock (Poet’s Lament), Patricia A Hawkenson (Bitter Reflection), Cresta McGowan (The Big Picture), Wendy (The Impotent Poet — you are not!), Juanita Lewison-Snyder (Bearing Weight).

    Thanks for the grins Andrew Kreider (Air Safety — what a problem solver you are!!!), Michael Grove (Ass), Karen Legg (Myth-taken).

    Some of my favorites today: Robert’s, Barbara Young (Picture), J.D. MacKenzie (Richard…),Lori Thatcher (It Seems…) Daniel Paicopulus (One Small Thing), Bruce Niedt (Big Picture), Joy Cagil (Hurricane), Cara holman (The Big Picture), Jo Lightfoot (Tis Tisn’t), Marian Veverka (Great Spirit), Lori Thatcher (Field of Flowers), Katie Dixon (1 classroom), Sara McNulty (Barry Sanders).

    Thanks for the comment Andrew K! 🙂

  31. Nina B. Lanctot

    Almost midnight — and sensing the importance of this day in some of our faith tradition — and stretching for the power of words…goodnight, all


    rituals —
    small, subliminal
    tongues — tasting bread, blessed and broken
    without leaven so
    fetters fall

  32. Nina B. Lanctot

    PAD 4-17 — Thanks for taking this prompt around the world and back and from the cosmos to the grain of sand. Here are some that drew me in.

    @ Mike Maher: What The Big Picture Smells Like –
    How interesting to use the sense of smell with a visual prompt. This makes me consider how much TRUST is at the heart of all that is significant.

    @ Bruce Niedt – I like the way form and function go together in this poem. The view winds out and winds in, beginning and ending, spiraling galaxy-like. My favorite image:

    “this diversity of being – black hole, chambered nautilus – spiraling out or in
    nature’s numbers add and subtract, faithful as comets”

    @ Jacqueline Hallenbeck: I liked the way you channeled the voice of the dying planet, a mournful plea.


    @ Lori Thatcher – loved the way you referred to a particular painting and the way it “moves” and takes perspective of the bigger picture of your life.

    @ Rachel Green, “Last Welcombe” – How interesting to make an actual picture take on such a big and soulful perspective. The specificity was rich.

    @ PKP aka Pearl Ketover Prilik – It was interesting to see how many of us were thinking of “Holy Days” re this prompt. Pearl, I like the way you used an actual big picture to push my awareness of how such pictures are interpreted, for good and for ill, as THE BIG PICTURE. Seder and Last Supper together. I really liked the last stanza:

    "In that magnificent canvas
    That could have been
    Symbol of room enough
    For all at the table"

    @ Joseph Harker “EIGHTY-SIXTH FLOOR” – again, a unique perspective from which to ponder. Huge “OUCH” for the last stanza that hits so close to the mark re human smallness in light of big picture:

    "To a raptor’s eye, we
    are those creatures so violent that all we can think of up here is,

    if I dropped a penny, how big a hole would it make in some other
    poor sap’s skull, and hardly a moment for how we collect like dust,
    unworthy of attention. Errant atoms built this nest for a hawk,
    who takes off, catches heat, doesn’t even bother looking down."

    @ Andrew Kreider: Your two are so Andrew-esk – taking us from our skivvies (very concrete and personal) to big time and cutting (in a good way) imagery —

    “We are all hurtling
    Through space, wringing out meaning from old rags,
    Beggars slumped at the doorstep of reason.”

    @ PSC in CT – two stanzas, solid, parallel, and a great critique of the “i” world and the cosmic “eye.” Powerful last phrase: “relegate us to extinction.”

    @ Andrew Boltwood – a lot of folks used great short quotes to introduce their poems. Loved yours:

    “We don’t see things as they are, we see them as we are.” – Anais Nin
    Echoed the thoughts of many re the limits of the “ego” view of the big picture. Your film metaphor worked throughout. Enjoyed and pondered with you.

    @ Patricia A. Hawkenson – Ah! Tricked me. A little snow poem became a big picture. Loved the line that turned the whole poem:

    from where the first word
    came to land
    and where the rest
    piled up.”

    @ M.A. Dobson – my favorite. Short and cut to the heart. Here it is again. Thanks:

    what you
    have to thank
    for all the little
    moments that take your breath away”

  33. Khadija Anderson

    Dear Family


    What I am about to write is completely true false imagined historical real. The way I see it It just so happened that What happened was I had no choice no idea no reason no say in the matter no money I made the decision. I had a little coercion push shove help, because I wouldn’t didn’t want to shouldn’t couldn’t have done it myself. That said, the result was pretty great ridiculous better asinine meh perfect.
    Thanks for encouraging listening engaging procrastinating nothing helping.


    In solidarity,


  34. Jacqueline Hallenbeck

    Thanks Corinne, Andrew. C=
    De, I love your concrete piece. 😀

    They don’t see what I see
    (cascade poem)

    "Poetry doesn’t pay"
    I’ve heard some poets say
    Just wait till I’m discovered

    "Slam, rhyme, compose
    but don’t fool yourself because
    Poetry doesn’t pay

    Come share your poetry
    but don’t stray from reality"
    I’ve heard some poets say

    "There’s no money in this, hon"
    But I intend to prove them wrong
    Just wait till I’m discovered

    (c) jh 4/17/11 11:50 pm.

  35. Sara McNulty

    Fabulous poems out there. Here are some of my favorites so far:
    Janice Rice C. – To Know Peace
    Daniel P. One Small Thing
    Dr. Pearl – Do Not Lose Sight & The Big Picture (how true)
    Joseph Harker – 86th Floor is amazing
    De – Loved Misfit
    Taylor – Antiquarian Society Library
    Andrew K. – Beggars – Excellent "beggars slumped at the doorstep of reason" -WOW
    MiskMask – Plant Me Under The Apple Tree
    Lori T. – Field of Flowers
    PSC – Egocentric
    R.J. Clarken – Citizen
    Domino – last lines of My Lost Perspective were excellent (and thanks for your mention)
    Stephen W. – Beautiful poem
    Patricia H. – Bitter Reflection
    Benjamin – The Forest and The Lady Bug
    Anders – What If
    Salvatore – "huge bin of time"

  36. Gerardine Baugh

    Long day today, here’s my start to a big picture poem, or maybe, I just want cake:-)

    “Cooking up a hyperbole”

    Most things in life
    Blend together
    Like eggs and sugar
    Flour and oil
    They set a pace
    That seems normal
    Deceptive and laughable
    People refuse to see
    When heaven and hell
    Mix at their tables


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