2011 April PAD Challenge: Day 23

For today’s prompt, write a quit doing what you’re doing poem.  This could be about something you need to quit doing or that someone or something else should quit doing. 


Here’s my attempt:

“Instead of Hating”

Erase the evening
and delete the day.
Forget the little knives
stuck in your back,
the lost promises.
Make the morning
a kite of forgiveness.

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0 thoughts on “2011 April PAD Challenge: Day 23

  1. Melissa Hager

    Thank you Dare and Jo and PSC for “twisting” with me.

    Connie Peters, loved “Don’t Shoulda Yourself”

    AC Leming "Write It Out" – Yes. Going to miss this PAD thing, but have learned how cathartic it is to do just what you suggest!

  2. JSP


    It’s fun to do what and when I want
    Necessary things not so much
    Getting behind or in the nick of time
    From others bring grunts and such

    No longer will I procrastinate
    Ideas and plans start and finish without delay
    I’ve projects and jobs to stay on top of
    Now my life’s in order, more time to play

  3. MaryAnn McCarra-Fitzpatrick

    Calendar Blues

    be still and quit fretting at
    the years, increasing, one by
    one, until they are counted
    in decades, each amber
    bead containing those reflections

    mirrored back, held for all
    time in that honeyed
    thickness, she heard him
    before she saw him, love
    coming in at the ears

    the hoar-frost has not
    reached his chin, the
    journey still not done, and
    he, in her eyes, as
    young as he ever was

  4. de jackson

    Pamela Murray Winters: "Quitting" is astonishing. Anyone who’s ever quit anything, anyone, anywhere, EVER can relate to its passion and pace. And hopelessness and loss. Goodness. SO love this.

  5. AC Leming

    Pick yourself up 
    and put on workout
    clothes.  Take the damn
    dogs out for a walk
    first thing in the morning.
    Quit feeling sorry 
    for yourself, trapped 
    with no way out.
    Quit avoiding problems,
    your life, your love.
    Quit opting out of life
    and dive right back in.
    Ride it out.
    Right it out.
    Write it out.

  6. Salvatore Buttaci


    in her weak defense she claims
    she is unworthy of true love
    a woman of dark streets
    plying a loveless craft:
    rote words, sighs,
    soft adept hands
    to please men
    for a price

    deep within
    where her heart
    beats behind its cage
    in sorrow and solitude
    an inner voice calls to her
    repeatedly, which she ignores,
    “Quit what you’re doing and love–
    True love–will find its way home to you


  7. Pam


    Put it in a box. Wrap the tape tight. Pretend
    the scent doesn’t gather in your nose, in the back

    of your throat, in the sweat of your palms.
    Pretend you don’t move through it with every step,

    feel the rush against your calves, your thighs.
    Failing that, pretend you never started, never knew.

    Pretend there’s a world without it. Live in that world
    and be happy. Pretend to be happy. All right, then,

    pretend it’s bad for you. Pretend it’s evil. Forget
    that it’s in you so deeply that you, too, in this construct,

    must be evil. Find the ritual baths and immerse yourself.
    Scrub until raw. Forget that water, great equalizer,

    soaks through the box, no matter how securely
    you bound it. Don’t open that box.

    It’s not in there anymore, anyway.

    Pamela Murray Winters

  8. Connie L. Peters

    Don’t Shoulda on Yourself

    You’re wishing your mind wasn’t swayed
    And regretting the price you paid
    Sorry for the choices you made
    Oh, please don’t shoulda on yourself

    You’re second-guessing with each breath
    Analyzing yourself to death
    It’s an addiction just like meth
    Oh, please don’t shoulda on yourself

    You’re acting as jury and judge
    And dragging yourself through the sludge
    From self-recrimination, budge!
    Oh, please don’t shoulda on yourself

    Everybody makes mistakes
    And your fragile confidence shakes
    It is time to put on the breaks
    So, please don’t shoulda on yourself

  9. MiskMask

    @ Lori, that’s very heady compliment to be included with that group of poets. Thanks! But never give up; I like what you write. 🙂

    @ Jo, I amended the original because I wasn’t uncomfortable with it; felt too self-serving and poor-pitiful-me, which just isn’t me at all. Nevertheless, glad that you liked the twist.

  10. Joseph Beckman

    2011 April PAD Challenge: Day 23

    For today’s prompt, write a quit doing what you’re doing poem. 
    One word.
    Quite absurd,
    Inspiration too.
    What began early in his life,
    Was lost when loneliness became the twin to his strife.
    What ended later in his life, was pain, when happiness came in the form of his wife.

    © April 23, 2011 by Joseph Beckman
    Fibonacci 0,1,1,2,3,5,8,13,21

  11. PSC in CT

    Reading fast and just naming names today – sorry I don’t have the time (or energy) for more comments, but it’s almost bedtime. :- (

    So MANY good ones! My favorites for today include the works of the following folks:

    Walt, LBC, de jackson, mbschied, Joseph Harker, M.A. Dobson, Jerry W, Jane Shlensky, Dare Gaither, Daniel Paicopulos, J. D. Mackenzie, stephanie barbe hammer, Andrew Kreider, Arielle Lancaster-LaBrea, Nancy Posey, Kyhaara, Anders Bylund, J. lynn, Gil Gallagher, Sara V, Sara McNulty (and please accept my sympathy over the loss of your cousin’s wife), Hannah Gosselin, Bruce Niedt, Robin Morris, Kit Cooley, Jo Lightfoot, Tanja Cilia, Marie Elena, Jay Sizemore, Beth Camp, Scott Mesrobian. Keep up the good work, folks!

    And… one more comment:

    Lori Thatcher – (April) – I know just how you feel! But, today I feel honored to be included in your list of so many talented poets! Thank you for that compliment! 🙂 And, don’t give up — you are doing just fine! Keep writing. 🙂

  12. Scott Mesrobian

    Let It Go

    The days pass and none of them bring joy, as
    you allow others to hurt you by not
    letting go of matters so petty and
    small. Breathe in the air of beauty and comfort
    and exhale the poison of pain. You do
    not have to accept each invitation,
    or let others take advantage of your
    time. Don’t worry about his health and be
    afraid of the battles that rage beyond
    your door. There is peace in breathing and in
    the music of the birds at the window
    And in the simple rhythm of each day.

  13. Laura Hohlwein

    I am all over the map
    I am the westerly wind and the I-80 traffic jam
    I am the Great Pacific Garbage Patch
    and the pages of The Portable Neitszche
    left on the city bench,
    fluttering in the westerly wind
    that stirs irradiated cherry blossoms
    and lifts them up, twirling

    I am my next good piece of news
    and seven memoried stairwells at once
    I am the rain of bullets
    and the creaking pews
    and the iridescent glop sticking to sandpipers wings

    I have got to stop this
    I have got to focus
    and return at least to three locations

    Past, present, future
    Only one is worth a damn
    but which?

  14. Mariel Dumas


    I promise to stop making believe
    Though it stings my veins
    if you insist on crying over spilt milk
    Crying over the Mona Lisa like a fallen angel
    To quit thinking of you on trains as they leave the station
    You are no longer inspiration; just a wreckless faultful thing
    you linger in the air like pollen
    And I am no honey bee
    A nobody like me; A Queen bee
    caught up in glacial storms
    a deep and memorable abyss
    I am no beekeepr nor saint
    And my kingdom shall be inherited
    By the future-me
    You lack courage to speak
    I promised you I’d stop
    Quit reiterating your name
    when it comes down to Judgement day
    I will not remember you
    You shall remember me

  15. Beth Camp

    For my sister

    If I were someone who prayed,
    I’d pray those cells would simply
    quit growing, quit sending out that pain
    along your spine, curl up
    somewhere inside you
    to the tiniest star-like seed
    and float away with your precious breath.
    Instead I’ll work on your many-colored quilt,
    and stitch hope into every finished fabric square.

  16. MiskMask


    Quit with the Voyeurism Already

    When I was child
    my mother said
    that the dead
    watched over the living.
    Smiling, nodding
    or possibly not,
    approving, disapproving
    for this and whatnot.

    So I’d like to know why’s
    it so boring up there.
    Why don’t the dead have
    much better things to do,
    than watching us
    living our lives.

  17. Penny Henderson


    I thought I was a goner for sure.
    Yaacov just let them drag me away
    to this judge, or prophet, or some such.
    All I could think was, "he was there too."

    You’d better believe they had big stones
    held ready in their miserly fists.
    Was what I had done so terrible-
    a little comfort in a cold world?

    A thread of hope unspooled in my heart.
    This was no self-righteous Pharisee.
    He bent and traced letters in the dust.
    No real help. I’d never learned to read.

    When he looked at me I quit trembling.
    Then he turned to them-all circled round
    me with their hateful sharp arrow eyes,
    and told them (no! NO!) to fire away.

    But oh-the cleverness of the man.
    The first stone thrown must come from a hand
    and heart never tempted to go wrong.
    I heard rocks dropping by ones and threes.

    After a while it was just us two.
    I melted when he said, "forgiven."
    Should have known there’s be a price for that.
    The kicker was "Go and sin no more."

    I guess that’s right. Forgiveness is not
    required if no sin’s been committed.
    Yaacov will have to find his way back
    alone–like he left me to find mine.

  18. Chuck Puckett

    [Didn’t get it finished yesterday, too many distractions. In a way, I’m glad: had time to be reminded it was Shakespeare’s Death Day, in recognition of whom, I chose to recast my first thoughts in the form of a Shakespearean sonnet.]


    This foolishness, you must stop now, right now!
    Your caustic, reptile-brained mad rhetoric
    Leaves nothing but your bile upon your brow,
    Takes leave of sense, a senseless cataract
    That flows unchecked between the night and day,
    Revealing only bias and despair.
    Your endless words of hate have found their way
    To hearts and minds that otherwise might dare
    To compromise and find a path between
    The poles you pundits claim are all there is.
    The larger truths might but for you be seen:
    There’s middle ground you won’t admit exists.

    This nation tires of ceaseless words at war.
    The fight itself is all you’re fighting for.

    © 2011 Chuck Puckett

  19. Beth Rodgers

    Thanks to LBC, Jacqueline, Buddah, and Paula! It really is a pleasure to be able to sit down and write each day. I hope to keep it up after April ends and read more wonderful poetry like all of you create as well!

  20. Iain D. Kemp

    Dear Moosehead,
    Man, what a day! Pity about the call off,
    but I made a heap o’ green in the city. I love holidays!
    What I don’t love is getting shoes upside my head.
    Your sister is still pissed; your mother never gets off my case.
    I gotta quit being harassed by these harpies. Cut me some
    slack, bro – invite them to spend a week (or 6!!) out in Queens
    with you. I’m going crazy. If you don’t want the mutt Jeter
    he can stay here – right now he’s the only one showing me
    some love! I’ll pick you up at 6 – we’ll hit the sports bar &
    watch them Birds getting’ roasted. Hopefully your cousin
    will be on and we’ll get cheap beer.

    Yours still smarting from the beating
    Ringo the Howler

  21. Iain D. Kemp

    Posting a day late – yesterday was hectic!!

    Quit Faking

    Time to stop!
    just stop
    it’s no good pretending
    that somewhere deep inside
    there is a modicum of sense
    of will power or
    there’s only one course of action that suits

    I’ll never go out and have one
    or two
    I’ll do what I always do
    and have rather more than I should
    and I need to lose wait
    and I need to get my act together
    so from now
    for two weeks
    right up until I turn the big 5-0
    I’m going dry
    (or at least I’m gonna try!)


  22. Jay Sizemore


    making excuses for not trying,
    like hating the feeling when reading
    the latest rejection letter, when even
    the editor tells you to keep submitting.
    Your best was not acceptable to them,
    but maybe you can improve. But years
    of habit have settled into your skin
    like deep-seeded dust in the cracks
    of a canyon, and your tendency for change
    has narrowed to such a fine margin,
    it’s like the last sliver of pizza
    left on the buffet that no one wants.
    You have a wide library of selections,
    that gets more difficult to sort through
    each time. Maybe your idea of the best
    is clouded with bias. Every poet
    must be a narcissist to think
    their tiny words are even worth the effort.

  23. PSC in CT

    Just a quick stop here, while waiting for today’s prompt. Will be back later to read & comment, but for now, some sincere thanks to the following folks for their reading & comments:

    Melissa Hager – Thank you! Twisting is lovely! I like a good poetic twist. 😉
    Jo Lightfoot – Thanks for those sweet words. 🙂
    de – I’ve heard it in your poetry – but don’t listen to your mirror. You are a gifted poet!
    Paula Wanken – Thanks! Not easy to rhyme with “mirror”. 😉

  24. Kyhaara

    Thanks so much everyone for your wonderful comments. They are very encouraging and mean a lot to me. I enjoy sharing, and sometimes they turn out better than others.

    Reading all of your poetry (whether serious or silly) is very nourishing to the soul.

    Happy Easter!

    For those curious few, a lot of my poems this month have inspiration from books I have been reading in French and English class (Not all of them turned out, but that is irrelevant):

    "Le Petit Prince" by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry directly inspired Day 7’s "Floral French," Day 22’s "Apprivoiser," and Day 23’s "Lost in The Desert."

    Fahrenheit 451 inspired "Fireman" (Day 4)
    King Lear inspired "Our Darker Purpose" (Day 1)

    So my advice is to read and read and read, and sometimes poems will come from there.

    Again, HAPPY EASTER!

  25. Zeb

    April 24, 2011 / Joanna @ Zeb Bakes
    Blessings and a chat on Skype

    Thank you Robert for your wonderful poem and prompt today! Blessings to you all!

    2011 April PAD Challenge: Day 23

    This Easter Sunday got up
    early, couldn’t sleep
    people staying, dogs needing walk
    I was out and down the woods
    no one about
    Birds singing their little hearts out
    WIld garlic and bluebells dancing
    in the cool of the morning
    Wren whizzes past
    Great tits shout
    Back and organize breakfast
    Drag toaster outside
    Eat, kiss, exchange chocolates,
    wave goodbye
    Skype with my Dad 300 miles away
    with my autistic brother
    that’s a first and it went extraordinarily well
    We were amazed and overjoyed
    I don’t need to quit doing anything
    I just need to do more of the right stuff!
    Blessings on you all. Cherish others
    and the rest will take care of itself.

  26. ann

    This is the year to pull
    up the peonies, knotted
    like rocks in the long bed;
    planted long before we came
    below a forgotten clothesline,
    by the dirt drive.
    In May they bloom, heavy
    and overwrought. The stems
    break and the petals scatter.
    This year, I’ll dig them
    up early, by Easter, in
    time to replant something
    new, if I can dislodge
    the knot of peony
    promise, the old plant
    that won’t let me go.

  27. PKP aka Pearl Ketover Prilik

    Buddah…. Your list has become quite the place
    Where I eagerly look for my face
    If there not to be
    I would have to see
    How back I might get in
    Good enough grace

    Thank you dear Buddah….it is a fabulously interesting phenomena that some poets draw not only admiration for their inspired words but deep respect for their opinions. You, dear sir, are one of this sort….

    "The Plea" is no exception…of a fine poem with that ironic twist and great alliteration….the non-denominational chocolate bunnies and heart-felt respect and admiration are accepted as genuine and perhaps speak to that authenticity and honor to be included in your gaze…. Then again,…. Maybe we just secretly believe you ARE Buddha come to poem for a bit and take a look around The Street.
    I’ll save the bunny and eat up the heart-felt mention of myself and all others… Quite delicious….

    As I have been saying if you’ve been preparing and anticipating celebrating Easter hope it is brimming with renewal and all you might have expected…if anything arrives unexpectedly may it bring a smile!

  28. MiskMask

    Eternal Judgement

    I’d like to know where
    it says that the dead
    watch over the living
    smiling, nodding or not
    approving and disapproving
    because if this is so
    I surely disapprove
    because I don’t need two
    lifetimes their disapproval

  29. Paula Wanken

    I find myself awake at 3 a.m., and cannot sleep ~ what better time than now to read all of Day 23’s poems!

    Beth Rogers:
    Loved the lines
    Happiness crept up on her definitively
    Imbuing color and flavor into her once
    Lackluster life.

    Loved the lines
    Picture a daffodil day

    Elusive sunshine painting
    happiness in a primary palate
    on a stress-free canvas

    Dare Gaither:
    Loved "It’s Time"…
    especially "learn to ride"

    Lori Thatcher:
    Loved "Quit Quitting"…
    especially "what I think is real"

    Daniel Paicopulosis:
    loved the lines
    and not every mistake should be fixed…
    my life still a work in progress

    Andrew Kreider:
    Loved "The Naked Truth"
    especially "Like a goddess at her bath."

    Janet Rice Carnahan:
    Loved the lines
    Quit what’s heavy, become what’s light,
    Give up the burden, release the fight!
    (especially in reference to forgiveness!!)

    Arielle Lancaster-LaBrea:
    Loved "Breathing"
    (…I cried. And I’m not a crier…)

    Loved the lines
    Dreams do not vanish overnight,
    nor do they die. They are fish
    that sometimes slip through the
    net, but can be recaptured

    Cresta McGowan:
    Loved the lines
    What you need is covered,
    What you want is not necessary.
    Driving you to depths of depression
    When the sun is shining in your backyard.

    PSC in CT:
    Loved the lines
    You’re nothing but a nasty sneerer.
    Guess I’ll try another mirror.

    Buddah Moskowitz:
    Loved the lines
    please stop co-opting
    the soundtrack of
    our collective
    culture and memory

    Angel V.:
    Loved "I Quite You"
    (…I cried…and, as noted above, I’m not a crier…)

    John Pupo:
    Loved "(re)Action"…mostly for the title!
    (…and, I’m not on Twitter…but think I will need to be…)

    And thanks, all, for giving me such wonderful poems to read while I cannot sleep.

    Have a blessed Easter!

  30. Linda Simoni-Wastila

    Nip it

    Before it grows
    before it blows
    cherry red
    poker hot
    zip the lip
    the words
    pulsing below
    before you blow
    before I know
    what you don’t
    really mean.


    Happy Easter and Passover everyone!

    Robert, your poem today really struck a chord — beautiful. And hopeful. Peace…

  31. Carole Katsantoness

    Road Rage

    I signaled, changed lanes
    not seeing anyone close by.
    I traveled a reasonable speed,
    music filled the car

    And my senses, when
    in my rearview mirror appeared
    a blurred angry face, a shaking fist,
    shocked, I was unprepared.

    The therapeutic broadcast
    quickly lost, my expression changed
    to one of terror. I signaled
    a turn but nightmare stayed on my rear.

    It was dusk, a lonesome area,
    I pulled into a stranger’s drive.
    He’ll go past thinking I’ve
    reached home, he trapped me from

    behind. I secured my locks,
    windows, my nerves, through the thin
    window of plate glass he yelled,
    “are you trying to kill me?”
    Assertive, though not what I felt,
    exclaimed “Not my intention, sir.”
    He quit, turned, vanished– I tromped the
    pedal, draining my tank of gas.

  32. chimnese


    We say its all coming to an end
    I’m saying this is always my last
    Yet I keep coming back
    Keep coming back to that same pain.
    Have I not learn that repetition
    Can prolong until you no longer
    Got anything to give.
    People take and take
    And you say quit it already
    The pain is too much
    When is it gonna end
    The prolonging of this pain within me.
    Repetitious behavior its never ending.
    Repeat after repeat I come back with
    The same pain and heartache.
    Repetitious, repetitious.


  33. Tilly Bud

    I feel bad that I have barely commented on the poems this year but, as you can see by the fact I am almost always the last to post, time is not on my poetical side at the moment.

    Your Dog Needs A Better Friend Than Me

    Please stop lead-slapping your dog,
    or I’ll have to stop pretending
    not to see you.

  34. John Pupo


    facetious smile
    plastered ear to ear
    Cheshirian in nature;
    begging, pleading

    caving in –
    a Pavlovian response
    waiting for the game
    to begin

    always the same,
    you find my internal presets
    hitting them all at once;
    we bicker too much

  35. Gretchen Gersh Whitman

    PAD 2011- April 23
    Prompt: Quit doing

    Stop the recriminations.

    The prickly shadow life.
    The belittling nitpicking.

    Rise early with the fog
    & beat the rain.

    Take a walk by
    the Hudson, breathe deep &
    trace who you are.
    The tall reeds, scent of
    sage & sting in your calves
    will remind you. You are
    the wanderer in the wood.
    Velvet moss & pussy willow
    grounds you as a child.

    A fleeting gull’s call
    centers you. Talk to the
    fisherman by the rocks, watching
    his crab trap. He will tell you about
    soft shell crab & how to
    fry it in a pan with butter.

    If it does rain, wipe your
    face, focus on
    the clear sky ahead
    & get drenched.

    You won’t mind.
    Drink it all in.

    Gretchen Gersh Whitman


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